After Prospero gives his blessing to the marriage between Ferdinand and Miranda, he summons Ariel and instructs him to call the spirits to perform a masque. The spirits appear in the shapes of Iris, Juno and Ceres. The masque is a performance of allegorical and mythical stories and it serves to emphasize various symbolic aspects that are important to the marriage between Ferdinand and Miranda, as well as to the thematic structure of The Tempest as a whole. "The betrothal masque in Act IV may be considered a play-within- the play, giving a timeless and general representation of the Ferdinand and Miranda narrative and illustrating the elaborate power of Prospero's art." ( Brown, J. 1969, 32)
The masque performed in the play has all the elements of growth, prosperity and happiness in society. What the masque achieves is a focus on the regenerative functions of marriage. In essence it...
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