Question: What is the nature and function of Ariel? Why is he invisible to every one in the play except Prospero?
Answer: Fire. He is moody. Prospero calls him malignant thing. His function in the drama is to represent the intellectual, the spiritual, and to execute Prospero's commands. He is the link between earth
and the higher and better world.
He is invisible because he is the executant of Prospero's orders. If he were visible, it might interfere with
How to cite this article:
Fleming, William H. How to Study Shakespeare. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1898. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/thetempest/questionst/airelpurpose.html >.