Write an account of the relationship that has developed between Prospero and Ariel.
Write a note on the role played by Ariel in The Tempest ?
Ariel is a spirit of the air. Before the arrival of Prospero and Miranda on this island, the witch Sycorax used to live here. By her magic this witch used to force Ariel to obey her hateful and filthy commands. As Ariel was unwilling to obey those commands, she used her magic to make Ariel a prisoner inside the cloven trunk of an oak tree. Subjected to this tormenting imprisonment Ariel used to scream with pain and agony. This continued for a dozen years. Then the witch Sycorax died. Thereafter her son Caliban was the only human or half-human shape to be seen on the island till the an’ival of Prospero and Miranda. Prospero took pity on the imprisoned Ariel. Prospero used his magic power to release Ariel from imprisonment. Since then Ariel had been in the continuous service of Prospero. Prospero had promised to grant complete freedom to Ariel if Ariel served him faithfully for a certain fixed period. Accordingly, Ariel had been carrying out whatever orders Prospero gave him.
The relationship between Prospero and Ariel is that of a master and a subordinate. On the whole, the arrangement works very well, and the relations between the two are quite cordial and Pleasant. Some-times, no doubt Ariel becomes impatient and feels irritated by Prospero’s orders. Once or twice Ariel even becomes rebellious. But in view of Prospero’s magic power, Ariel feels Perfectly helpless and has to obey Prospero’s orders.
Ariel’s role in the action of this play is vital. By executing the orders of Prospero, Ariel brings about certain situations which lead to results that Prospero has in mind. For instance, under Prospero’s instructions, Ariel lures Ferdinand, by means of a sweet song towards Prospero’s dwelling place. Ferdinand is astonished by the strange supernatural song which brings him to this Place. He is even more astonished to see Miranda before him. Ferdinand and Miranda fall in love each other at first sight. And such was the intention of Prospero. It is through the medium of Anel that this intention of Prospero is fulfilled.
Ariel is also the medium through whom Prospero reveals to us the villainy of Antonio and Sebastian. Ariel produces a sleepy music which sends Alonso and Gonzalo to sleep, though Antonio and Sebastian are kept awake. Antonio and Sebastian now hatch a conspiracy against Alonso and Gonzalo. By getting rid of these two men the two conspirators can promote their own interests. However, just when the conspirators are about to kill their intended victims, Ariel awakens Gonzalo by his music, and the conspiracy is defeated. Thus Ariel uses a device to expose the real characters of Antonio and Sebastian whom we already know to bc rogues.
Ariel provides a lot of fun in the play by creating a misunderstanding between Stephano and Trinculo. Ariel whispers certain offensive words into the cars of Stephano who thinks that Trinculo has uttered those words. Stephano gives a beating to Trinculo for the latter’s supposed misconduct. Caliban enjoys the beating that is given to Trinculo. The situation is quite funny. F urthennorc, Arie] overhears the whole scheme which Caliban had formed for the murder of Prospero and he duly conveys it to Prospero. In the meantime, Ariel plays an irresistible tune on a drum and a pipe, and the three conspirators, who are quite drunk, follow the music unthinkingly till they find themselves in a pond of filthy water.
One of the actions of Ariel, performed under the directions of Prospero, is to appear in the shape of a harpy when Alonso and his companions are about to begin eating the feast that has been spread before them. Ariel claps his wings upon the table, and the feast disappears. Ariel then addresses Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian, reminding them of the wrong they did to Prospero many years before. Ariel tells them that he and other spirits are ministers of Fate which is now ’ going to avenge the injustice done to Prospero. The shipwreck, says Ariel, occurred as a form of
punishment to the evil-doers. Alonso’s loss of his son Ferdinand was also a part of the punishment. Finally, Ariel warns them that they will die a lingering death unless they rcpcnt of their past misdeeds and swear to lead a sinless life in future. Ariel thcn vanishes, and Prospero feels perfectly satisfied with the way in which Ariel has carried out the instructions. The words of Ariel, speaking in the shape of a harpy, frighten King Alonso almost out of his wits. Aricl tells Prospero how he led Caliban and his drunken comrades through thorny shrubs and pushed them into a dirty pool of water where he left them dancing up to their chins. Prospero appreciates what Ariel has done. Ariel then hangs some showy garments on a lime tree to divert the attention of the conspirators.
Prospero next directs Ariel to bring Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian to him. Ariel carries out the orders. There follows a reconciliation between Prospero and his former enemies. Ariel now brings with him the master of the ship and the Boatswain both of whom are surprised as to how they had fallen into a deep sleep, and how they have aWakened from it. Next Ariel is ordered by Prospero to bring Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo. These three have been made to suffer all kinds of pains and cramps in their bodies. Prospero then gives his last command to Ariel. According to this command, Ariel will arrange fair weather during the voyage of Prospero and others to Naples. Thereafter Ariel will be absolutely free.