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

Expert Answers
amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

homeworkhelp101 | Student

male as Shakespeare says 'he' and 'his'

eltraylo | Student

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 | Student

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

easyskanking420 | Student

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.

Read the study guide:
The Tempest

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