Why, that's my dainty Ariel! I shall miss thee
Prospero:The Tempest Act 5, scene 1, 95–96
"Why, that's my dainty Ariel! I shall miss thee;
But yet thou shalt have freedom. So, so, so."
Ariel is a mischievous airy spirit in The Tempest, and in this final scene Ariel is given his freedom by Prospero. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan who was overthrown by his ambitious brother and abandoned at sea with his young daughter, Miranda, has lived on a magical island once inhabited by "the foul witch Sycorax." She is dead now and Prospero rules the sprites and spirits of the island, including Ariel. A magically caused tempest has landed Prospero's brother and the King of Naples on the island, and Prospero sets Ariel to induce trances and work spells, a labor about which Ariel complains. Prospero reminds him that his work is payment for being freed from a tree-trunk in which Sycorax imprisoned him. His plans are accomplished when his family is reunited, and Prospero frees Ariel with these lovely words.