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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Shakespeare's The Tempest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0573  Tuesday, 27 February 2002

From:           Karen Peterson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 09:25:33 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0557 Re: Shakespeare's The Tempest
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0557 Re: Shakespeare's The Tempest

Rodd Lidh writes,

> I
> simply take that characterization a step further by
> complicating the
> relationship between Ariel and Prospero based on the
> belief that
> Prospero's words are just that and *not* magical.
> Thus, Ariel's
> remaining as Prospero's magical servant is *Ariel's*
> choice, not
> Prospero's.

"Complicating," indeed.  Todd, please help me understand.  Why would
Ariel make this choice?  What is his motivation?  I suppose one could
argue that Ariel is grateful to Prospero for releasing him from
imprisonment in the oak.  But if that is the case, why does he
continually beg Prospero to release him?  Or, if one wanted to be
psychological, I *suppose* one might argue that Ariel might be
displaying the kind of dependence-on-one's-oppressor that is sometimes
seen in abusive/controlling relationships.  Or perhaps it's a variant on
the Patty Hearst syndrome.  But then, Ariel isn't a human -- he's a
spirit (not to mention his also being a dramatic character!).  Would a
spirit -- could a spirit -- have the same (usually sexually driven)
masochistic/submissive psychological trends that would seem to underlie
a situation in which Ariel conspires in his own bondage?

Yours in puzzlement,
Karen

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