Ariel is a spirit of the air. He can go everywhere. He can see others but he himself remains unseen. Prospero calls him only with a thought. He is both of the air and earthly, heavenly as well as human.
We do not know anything about his parentage. He has no physical existence yet he is capable of taking any shape. He is constant in motion and can enter anywhere. He is ever fresh. With the quickness of thought he appears and then disappears. His physical strength is limitless Ariel is heavenly because he can go round the globe in the twinkling of an eye. He roamed about the ship in a burning red form and caused surprise to the sailors. Thus he compelled them to leave the vessel and plunge into the sea in confusion. The more surprising thing is that no harm came to them. No sailor died. The ship did not receive any damage.
There is another heavenly element in Ariel. He is a minister of fate. He presides over the whole drama. He deals out justice and punishes the conspirators and fills their hearts with remorse. He causes their hearts to prick and repent. He foils the plots and scolds Antonio and Sebastian for their villainy.
Ariel has some earthly features also. He takes actual shapes and is capable of feelings and sentiments. He was imprisoned like an ordinary slave inside a pine-tree by Sycorax, the mother of Caliban. He remained coniined there for full twelve years. He was then saved by Prospero. Ariel carries out the orders of Prospero like an earthly being with loyalty and devotion. Like Caliban he too longs for freedom from service. He is as afraid of Prospero’s magic as Caliban. When he is threatened with pain, he too reacts like a human being. Though unseen by others. hc appears to be concrete to Prospero. He speaks, boasts, serves and grumbles like a human being. His sense of right and wrong, freedom and slavery, joy and pain make him an earthly creature.
Airy spirits are above common human feelings. They are indirect to pleasure and pain. They serve their masters loyally and whole-heartedly. But Ariel is different from the spirits of that category. He is heavenly but subject to human feelings. He thinks like a man-but acts like a superman. His powers are supernatural but he is ruled by an ordinary human being like Prospero. Apparently, he is airy but not without a human touch. He feels moved with pity on seeing the miserable condition of the ship-wrecked sailors. He also wishes to be loved by Prospero and he says,
“Ariel: Do you love me, Master ? No ? Prospero: Dearly, my delicate Ariel.”
In this respect, Ariel becomes hundred percent human with a sympathetic heart and a desire to be mood and his son ices appreciated and recognised. it is fully true to say that Ariel is a child of nature. To compute him as a human beings, he is also sheer ignorance. In his character, Shakespeare has humanists a superhuman being.