Ariel is a character from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Like his fellow-characters from the play, Prospero and Caliban, he exists in the Gargoyles Universe, but the details about him are as yet unknown.
In The Tempest, Ariel was a sprite who refused to obey the witch Sycorax, Caliban's mother, after she was exiled to the island where he lived; she punished him for his defiance by imprisoning him in a tree for twelve years. Sycorax died during that time, and Prospero and his daughter Miranda arrived on the island; Prospero freed Ariel from his prison, in return for which, Ariel was bound to serve him in turn. Ariel assists Prospero in his magical feats, including the shipwreck of his old enemies, his traitorous brother Antonio and King Gonzalo of Naples; at Prospero's instructions, Ariel also visits various torments upon them, such as offering them a lavish banquet and then taking the form of a harpy to snatch it away. At last, however, Ariel takes pity on their suffering, and persuades Prospero to spare them; Prospero afterwards gives Ariel his freedom.
How much of this story is true in the Gargoyles Universe, and how much Shakespeare's invention, is as yet unknown.