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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Ariel's Gender
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1009  Wednesday, 2 May 2001

From:           Nicol_Ariel <
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Date:           Wednesday, 02 May 2001 00:55:01 +0700
Subject: 12.1002 Re: Ariel's Gender
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1002 Re: Ariel's Gender

From:           Marti Markus <
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>In our parts of Europe ARIEL is a washing powder  -- or a fairy liquid.
>It is very difficult to attach a gender to these things...

>On the one hand, one would think that washing etc. is a traditionally
>female occupation in our part of the world (not in reality -- it is me
>who does the washing in our household -- but according to tradition). On
>the other hand, there is also "Meister Proper", another powerful
>cleaning powder or liquid, and clearly male.

>And let us consider how awful things must have been in Shakespeare's
>and(or) the Earl of Oxford's time, when ARIEL had not been invented yet
>as a cleaning power, and  you had either to clean your own  stuff or
>have some inferior people doing it for you. Today it is easy: either you
>use Ariel, or you don't. Either you are clean, or you are not. Half a
>century ago, Ariel was Arian, blonde and nice and looking for order.

Shakespeare used Ariel!

 Act 1 Scene 2 of The Tempest is in fact a play within the play:

   The Temp to wash your vest

PROSPERO:

Lend thy hand,
And pluck my magic garment from me. So:

...have Comfort.

Being once perfected how to (wash) suits,
How to (dry) them, who to  (charge in) advance and
To trash for over-(spinning), ....
the ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
And suck'd my verdure out on' t.  (Because) Thou attend'st not.

.....new created
The (garments) that were mine, I say, or changed 'em,
Or else new form'd 'em;.....

So dry (it) was for sway

Mark (its) condition and the event....
A mark so bloody on the business, but
With colours fairer painted

 (use) some fresh water ....., with
Rich garments, linens, stuffs and necessaries,

ARIEL:
task Ariel and all his quality.

PROSPERO

Hast thou, spirit,
Perform'd to point the temp(erature) that I bade thee?

ARIEL

To every article....

and make (t)his bold wa(sh)

PROSPERO
(Remember)
This damn'd witch Sycorax,

 Thou, my slave,
As thou report'st thyself, was(hed) then her (apparel)
And, for thou was(hed with) a spirit too delicate
To (clean) her earthy and abhorr'd (clothes)......

 (Use)At least two glasses of powder . The time 'twixt six and now...

ARIEL
Nothing of (them) that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

.... Not a hair perish'd;
On their sustaining garments not a blemish,
But fresher than before:
The king's (vest) have I la(undere)ed by himself;
Whom I left cooling of the air

....Was't well done?

PROSPERO
    Ariel, thy charge
Exactly is perform'd:

This also explains the angst of Lady Macbeth

Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why,
then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--
What, will these hands ne'er be clean?--No more o'
that,

And the Comfort given by the weird sisters who reassure her:

Yet it shall be tempest-tost

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