This blog post is incredibly interesting! “Ben Whishaw.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Mar. The Portrayal of Women in The Tempest. Such portrayal of Ariel would, in my opinion, make sense. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. Perhaps she is attempting to show that gender is not a natural form of power but rather a constructed performative? If Ariel in Shakespeare’s play was indeed female and was infertile, then what does it mean for all Ariel represents? However, these decisions of gender clearly and directly influence the relations between the characters and affect the overall perceptions of the play and its adaptations. He sent Ariel, his spirit servant, to cause the shipwreck and disperse certain people around the island. Adaptations and their manipulation of gender and its role compared to the original Shakespearean play have revealed many new power structures in the original. In this way, Cesaire’s Ariel reconciles the idea of freedom and oppression being intertwined in Winged Ariel 1. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Being an air spirit, it's likely that Shakespeare intended the character to be viewed as genderless. In the film, the two interact and exemplify a maternal relationship through their external dynamic. 2019, In return, Ariel promised to serve Prospero faithfully for a year, after which time Prospero would give Ariel back his freedom. The representation of a feminine character coincides with qualities of equalizing and embraceing oneself, directly in contrast to a more dominant and therefore masculine approach. Ariel is a nature spirit and a shapeshifting air elemental who acted as a servant to the Algerian witch Sycorax and later to the wizard Prospero when he got stranded on a magical uncharted island. He/She is Prospero’s servant and carries out his every need, influencing the course of the story tremendously. In The Tempest, gender is only one opposing force between Prospero and Sycorax. task Ariel and all his quality.”. Gender combines with race to determine the degree of power each person holds. N.p., n.d. While he's been referred to by male pronouns, Ariel's actual gender remains ambiguous and he's variously been portrayed as female, genderless or androgynous. Enter ARIEL, like a harpy; claps his wings upon the table; and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes." Did Bell want to humanize Ariel? If Ariel were a female, Ariel becomes, in a sense, a form of empowerment for women, as she is able to achieve feats that Prospero cannot accomplish himself. The tricky aspect of Ariel’s key role in the play is his/her gender. ( Log Out /  However, through your post, I was able to realize the potential flexibility of Ariel’s gender and how that may be significant in different contexts. At a recent performance of The Tempest hosted by BSU, however, I was struck by how little attention Ariel receives as a slave and Other within the play. This further adds to her maternal, pregnant image, emphasizing that Ariel should not be defined by the actions Prospero forced on her. Towards the beginning of the play, Prospero has a conversation with Miranda regarding how they came to the … The difference between masculine and feminine power being depicted affects other characters because the dynamic of the relationships are reliant on these qualities. However, Cesaire’s Ariel is unique in that he follows Prospero’s orders, but criticizes them at the same time, begging not to have to carry out certain actions. ( Log Out /  However, through your post, I was able to realize the potential flexibility of Ariel’s gender and how that may be significant in different contexts. ( Log Out /  Grannell, Beverley Ann. I never really thought about Ariel’s gender when I was reading The Tempest and always assumed Ariel to be male. Ariel’s gender fluidity generates greater complexity to aspects of power and gender roles in The Tempest but also leaves readers to question Shakespeare’s true reasoning behind the use of a vaguely gendered character. Ariel is a spirit who works in Prospero’s service. Carrillo De Albornoz, M. A., and M. A. Fernandez. Looking closely at this image from Taymor’s film, Ariel does appear to look like a woman, or that of a man with feminine features. Taymor’s film also shifts gender from a male Prospero to a female Prospera, played by Helen Mirren. I really enjoyed reading this post and I am looking forward to your final one! In this case, the wings of Ariel could demonstrate the freedom towards “Paradise”: a society without female suppression. I think that it’s very interesting how the interpretation of Ariel can vastly change depending on gender. He's referred to by male pronouns, although that happens only twice in the entire text - one of these instances being in a stage direction rather than dialogue. Ariel is somewhat gender neutral, although I believe he is most often portrayed by a man. Her chastity was kept by Prospero, despite fertility being so valued as you mentioned. Academia. The spirit of Ariel is a notable character in Shakespeare’s, The Tempest. I enjoyed your connection of Ariel and the ambiguity of his or her gender to art! Ariel in "The Tempest" is only gendered twice, as described below: A stage direction refers to Ariel with the male pronoun: "Thunder and lightning. With one of the play’s elements being patriarchy through Miranda’s character, where, then, does Ariel place, if the play doesn’t really emphasize Ariel’s gender? Toby Bell also has a Winged Ariel 1, but, curiously, not a Winged Ariel 2. As a spirit of air, Ariel highlights the shifting nature of gender as it was perceived during the period — as such, Ariel is a figure who awakens anxiety about what counts as male/female and masculine/feminine, and what this means for the period’s legal and social systems. I never really thought about Ariel’s gender when I was reading The Tempest and always assumed Ariel to be male. Ariel as a female: graceful and proud, but passive and sexualized. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Web. These The Tempest sculptures by Toby Bell describe Ariel in different ways that aren’t explicitly in Shakespeare’s original text, and I find the ambiguity of Ariel’s gender especially impactful. Prospero/a and Ariel’s relationship can be seen in multiple ways depending on the arrangement of gender.