Ariel Of The Tempest Analysis

2010 Words 9 Pages
Yaniga ansforming Shakespeare’s invisible spirit into a romantic hero, and in doing so, re-contextualizing the original character’s attributes and actions.elationship to the level of the sublime, in keeping with the foundations of Romanticism, and so the artistic expression of such a relationship would require a character to match. It’s significant that out of the whole Shakespearean repertoire, stocked with couples such as the ubiquitous Romeo and Juliet, the well-matched Beatrice and Benedick, and the ill-fated Othello and Desdemona, Shelley instead selected Ariel and Miranda, two characters who hardly interact, let alone share a relationship, over the course of their play. In depicting a connection which Shelley believed to be the height …show more content…
Ariel of The Tempest is an ageless being, a detail that does not impact the plot of the play except to provide historical reference for the island and an imagined future for what might happen to the island once Prospero leaves. But in the hands of Shelley, that timelessness provides a tragic, romantic weight to the story of Ariel and Miranda, as Ariel is forced to consciously live through Miranda’s death repeatedly; as he describes, “When you die, the silent Moon/ In her interlunar swoon/ Is not sadder in her cell/ Than deserted Ariel” (Shelley). The pain that Ariel experiences as an immortal being is compared to the pain that Shelley experiences in his love for Jane; indeed, the timeless quality of the poem emphasizes the power of love itself, in its ability to withstand the test of centuries. Shelley also makes use of Ariel’s canonized connection to nature. The extent of Ariel’s backstory provided in The Tempest is that he was imprisoned “into a cloven pine” by the witch Sycorax, and he did “painfully remain a dozen years”; but because Ariel seems happy to be left to himself with the island at the end of the play, it’s likely that his incarceration was only painful because of an inability to move around and be amongst the whole of the island (Shakespeare 17). The play alludes to the idea that Ariel in his natural form is related to and inseverable from the nature of the island, and he wields power over the elements, as is evidenced from the creation of the tempest. Shelley takes these abilities and uses them for romance, rather than punishment, as the event identified in the title is Ariel felling a tree in order to craft a guitar to give to Miranda. Ariel narrates the act as a unified act of nature coming together, an act “…of love; and so this tree, O that such our death may be! Died

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