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

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ghostbustah9 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2008 at 5:27 PM via web

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Ariel's gender

Is Ariel a female or male?Why?

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

Posted November 12, 2008 at 5:44 AM (Answer #2)

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There is no clear distinction of gender...it 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 purpose...no gender for Ariel, and girls are dressing as boys, etc.

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easyskanking420 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 12, 2008 at 8:57 PM (Answer #3)

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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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easyskanking420 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 12, 2008 at 9:50 PM (Answer #4)

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I'm sorry, it is from Act III, Scene III (not Scene II).

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eltraylo | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 18, 2009 at 7:20 PM (Answer #5)

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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."

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homeworkhelp101 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 17, 2009 at 8:35 AM (Answer #6)

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male as Shakespeare says 'he' and 'his'

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