Return to Ariel (person)

Ariel is the name of the [air elemental|air spirit] ([sylph]) bound to [Prospero] in [William Shakespeare]'s [The Tempest]. [Cletus the Foetus] notes that Prospero refers to Ariel in the masculine. I'd contend that Shakespeare's Ariel, as an inhuman being of ambiguous form, transcends gender. It's not unusual to find women cast in Ariel's role in modern stage productions of Shakespeare's play.

In [Fritz Leiber]'s [Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser] novels, Ariel is recast as the "[body servant]" of the [wererat] Lady [Hisvet]. There's a titillating scene (in [Swords of Lankhmar], I think) where Ariel pleasures [The Gray Mouser] as [Hisvet] whispers naughty nothings in his ear, claiming a "[demoiselle] of [Lankhmar]" (i.e. Hisvet) is too refined and delicate to directly engage in such [loveplay]. In this story, Ariel retains much of her [manner] (if not her [dignity]) from The Tempest.

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