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Ariel (Shakespeare)

From Academic Kids

Ariel is a fictional sprite who appears in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. He is bound to serve the magician Prospero, who rescued him from Sycorax, the witch who previously inhabited the island. Ariel, much like Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", has the power to make himself invisible to mortals, and causes several of the characters to see unearthly apparitions throughout the course of the play. At the end, he is released from his servitude by Prospero. Some of the play's most lyrical passages are sung by Ariel to befuddle and enchant the other characters.

The name, which is a variation of the word "air" from which the spirit comes, is reused in later literature for other sprites, most notably in Alexander Pope's mock epic The Rape of the Lock.

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