Atwood’s Recreation of Shakespeare’s Miranda in The Tempest

Awfa Hussein Aldoory


In The Tempest, Shakespeare portrays Miranda as a character which follows the path designed for her by Prospero, her father. Margret Atwood, through appropriating and intertextualizing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, reconstructs Miranda to be a motivator of action rather than a receiver of a patriarchal power. It is through recreating Shakespeare’s Miranda, Atwood gives her more spaces of critical analysis rather than being critically confined to the frame of femininity. This paper argues that Atwood’s Hag-Seed, by means of intertextuality and appropriation, recreates a new Miranda who is almost ignored by critical studies that focus mainly on reading The Tempest from post-colonial perspectives. As a feminist, though she claims not to be, Atwood consciously employs Shakespeare’s conceptual and thematic concerns like a play within a play, revenge, usurpation, and the father-daughter relationship. These concerns, which are mainly tackled in The Tempest, are employed by Atwood for the sake of creating a new Miranda who would determine and motivate the whole action of Hag-Seed. Atwood’s appropriation, this paper argues, is a feminist revision of a canonical text that limits woman’s role, and presents her either with the quality of passive innocence, or with that one of the devilish witch.



Shakespeare’s Miranda; Atwood’s recreation; The Tempest

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