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Ariel is a complex character. He, she, or it (Ariel's a spirit, and the sex is never specified) seems quite fond of Prospero at times, but quite resentful at others. Ariel is like Caliban in that both serve Prospero. Ariel was bound in a "cloven pine," by Caliban's mother, then freed by Prospero. Ariel has to serve him as a result.
Flexible, changeable, magical, all of these are Ariel. Ariel is a servant, but like a second daughter to Prospero in some ways. Ariel takes joy in the exercise of magic for its own sake, and so in that sense is more pure than Caliban (or even Prospero, for that matter).
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