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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Ariel's Gender
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0914  Tuesday, 24 April 2001

[1]     From:   Marti Markus <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 08:51:41 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0910 Re: Ariel's Gender

[2]     From:   Alison Taufer <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Apr 2001 19:04:10 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0910 Re: Ariel's Gender

[3]     From:   Marti Markus <
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 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 08:51:41 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0910 Re: Ariel's Gender


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 09:01:24 +0100
Subject:        Re: Ariel's Gender

>The most obvious piece of evidence, I think, has been overlooked: the
>dramatis personae as printed in the First Folio which places Ariel
>unambiguously among the females between Miranda and Iris.  If Ariel is
>male, it would be the only example of such misplacement in a book that
>insists on placing MM's Isabella below the dissolute prisoner Barnardine

Good work Clifford.  Conclusive.

All the best,
R. A. Cantrell

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alison Taufer <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 19:04:10 -0700
Subject: 12.0910 Re: Ariel's Gender
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0910 Re: Ariel's Gender

In lines 191-194 of Act One, scene two of  The Tempest, Ariel refers to
Ariel's self using the masculine or neutral form of the possessive:

...Be't to fly,
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
On the curled clouds, to thy strong bidding task
Ariel and all his quality.

Then again, maybe poor Ariel is just as confused as the rest of us.

Alison Taufer

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marti Markus <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 08:51:41 +0100
Subject: 12.0910 Re: Ariel's Gender
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0910 Re: Ariel's Gender

Clifford Stetner <
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 > wrote,

> The most obvious piece of evidence, I think, has been overlooked: the
> dramatis personae as printed in the First Folio which places Ariel
> unambiguously among the females between Miranda and Iris.  If Ariel is
> male, it would be the only example of such misplacement in a book that
> insists on placing MM's Isabella below the dissolute prisoner Barnardine

Would this not rather indicate the actor's age (and his social status
among the other actors) than the gender of the character he played?
After all, these lists are always called "names of the ACTORS"?

And even then, not all the lists are as consistent in respect of gender,
age or importance (of either the actor or the character): in WT the
"ladies" are put between Dion and Polixenes (in a somehow geographical
order?) and in TIMON Phrynia and Tymandra are not even listed (nor is
Flavius), but "Certain Maskers" (= Athenian ladies, disguised as
Amazones) appear in a prominent position between the senators and
thieves, before Flaminius and Sempronius etc.

There are not many plays in F in which the "Names of the Actors" appear,
and in these few cases they are always added at the end of the play.
Probably these lists were just hastily put together by the printers
(e.g.  to fill some awkward empty space on the remaining page).

Markus Marti
University of Basel
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