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Gender issues in The Tempest The modern NBC miniseries adaptation of Shakespeares The Tempest shares many similarities and differences on certain issues The miniseries is an Americanized version set during the period of the Civil war Many issues involving gender were changed in the miniseries to reflect the new setting The result is a more believable and understandable Tempest to which people can relate The gender issue changes make the characters reflect modern individuals and to remove the absurd characters the play forces us to believe in First the characters in The Tempest have some basic differences in gender in the adaptation In the play the only beings that Miranda knows are her father the nonhuman spirit of Ariel and the half-man-half-monster Caliban In the miniseries the only people Miranda knows are her father a black slave Ariel and a human variation of Caliban Gator Man The miniseries uses male forms of Ariel and Caliban which does not force the viewer into believing in non-human characters which makes them easier to understand In addition in the miniseries Miranda has relationships with these human characters which is not seen in the play Ariel is a companion of sorts to Miranda and Prospero in the miniseries unlike the play where Ariel is a spirit who can only be seen by Prospero Ariels black slave character provides a masculine character that is a companion to Miranda and Prospero Although he is a male he is still portrayed as inferior to Miranda and Prospero because of his race He serves as a huge source of labor and security for Prospero and Miranda Anyone who knows the history slavery in the United States can understand the difficult position that he has been put in In the miniseries Miranda has an active role in survival on the island She is seen doing chores such as collecting the traps for food in the swamp Miranda working is barely seen in the
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