Ferdinand was the son of Alonso, the King of Naples. He was separated from the rest of the survivors after the shipwreck. According to Prospero’s command, Ariel landed Ferdinand by himself in an out-of-the-way corner of the island.
As Ferdinand sat alone on the island, mourning the supposed death of his father, suddenly he heard strange music in the air. The music was produced by Ariel. The music arrested the fury of the waves and soothed his grief-stricken mind. Initially, it was a fairy song that changed to a sea lament referring to his father. Ferdinand treated it as heavenly music. He followed it till he came within the view of Prospero and Miranda.
Miranda imagined Ferdinand to be a spirit and admired his beautiful appearance.
Ferdinand’s surprise and delight seemed to be equally great. He imagined Miranda to be the Goddess of the island. He was no less astonished to hear Miranda speak his own language. He inquired whether she was a maid or not. Prospero challenged his claim to be the King of Naples. Prospero was anxious not to make the winning of his daughter too easy for Ferdinand. Therefore, he treated Ferdinand rather harshly and Miranda protested in vain. Prospero called Ferdinand a spy and a traitor. To make the best of a bargain, Ferdinand yielded to Prospero. Ferdinand must have thought Prospero was an old and crabbed man given to violent temper.