Ariel belongs to the world of supernatural beings. He is a spirit of the air and fire. He Can do anything very easily. Caliban is the native of the earth. He is an ugly creature. He is born out of the union of a witch and a devil. His mother was a witch named Sycorax. He has inherited his ugliness from his parents.
In physical features there is no comparison between Ariel and Caliban. Ariel does not have a body. He is a spirit. He can take any shape at any time. He can see others but others except Prospero cannot see him.
Ariel is a loyal servant while Caliban is always grumbling and cursing. Ariel is thankful to Prospero for freeing him from the grip of Sycorax. Caliban is thankless even after having been taught human speech and manners. Their attitudes to Prospero are .also different. Ariel saves the life of Prospero by foiling the plot hatched by Caliban and Trinculo and Stephano. Caliban is a slave who grumbles when he is given any work. Ariel feels by sewing his master. Caliban shirks work. He is slow and lazy. Caliban makes up his mind to free himself from the domination of Prospero. He thinks that he is the rightful owner of the island and Prospero is an usurper. So he is always protesting against the over-lord ship of Prospero. He believes that Prospero is treating him very harshly. Except for his demand for freedom, Ariel has nothing against Prospero.
Caliban is cowardly and passive. Ariel is always daring and active. Caliban is very much afraid of the physical tortures and pains given by Prospero’s spirits. Physically he is a slave but mentally he is a rebel. Ariel is always anxious about the welfare of Prospero. He is bold and dashing. He has extraordinary powers. He can raise the storms and bring thunder and lightning. He can fulfill every wish of his master.
Ariel is an agent of fate. He brings justice to all. He represents the conscience of man which always stand for justice and fair-play. Ariel is fanciful and moody. He is never vicious. His aims are always-noble. Caliban is wicked and earthy. Ariel stands for goodness in man, Caliban stands for animal instincts in him. Ariel possesses the sense of moral right and wrong. Caliban does not have this sense. Caliban tried to dishonour Prospero’s daughter. That is why Prospero had to puniSh Caliban. Thus we find that Caliban and Ariel are quite different in their features, actions and attitudes.
There are a few things in common between Ariel and Caliban. Both are slaves of Prospero, They are helpless against him. Both get ill-treatment from Prospero. Both long for freedom. The Proposal for freedom is rejected by Prospeio. Both had reasons to be thankful for his kindness in the past. Prospcro had freed Ariel from an imprisonment of Sycorax. He had taught human speech to Calithal Both ofthcm are freed towards the end of the play.