Ariel is a fictional sapient creature featured in the play The Tempest.


Ariel is an "air spirit" or "sprite" who possesses several magical abilities, including those of making himself invisible and of shapeshifting. Ariel was captured by the witch Sycorax and forced to do her bidding until she died, leaving him imprisoned within a tree as a final curse. Ariel was then freed by the more benevolent sorcerer Prospero, who bound him to himself for several years while promising him his freedom, which he eventually did give to him.