Ariel's genderIs Ariel a female or male?Why?

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amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There is no clear distinction of lends itself to the magical air of the setting and of Ariel's powers.  Remember this is a comedy, and all things are light and fun in a comedy.  Besides, there is so much transgender activity in this play, perhaps Shakespeare did it on gender for Ariel, and girls are dressing as boys, etc.

eltraylo's profile pic

eltraylo | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Ariel is somewhat gender neutral, although I believe he is most often portrayed by a man. I think Shakespeare's troop was all male, so this is probably the reason why Ariel as a harpy is referred to as a "he."

easyskanking420's profile pic

easyskanking420 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In Act III, Scene II, around line 55, there is a stage direction that states:

Thunder and lightning. Enter ARIEL, like a harpy, claps his wings upon the table; and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.

With the "his" referring to Ariel, I believe he is intended to be male.

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