Homework Help

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, describe Oberon's reaction to Robin Goodfellow's news...

user profile pic

itssgordon | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 18, 2010 at 9:37 AM via web

dislike 2 like

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, describe Oberon's reaction to Robin Goodfellow's news about Titania and Bottom.

Act 3, scene 2

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 7, 2010 at 2:52 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

This event of course seems to crown the activity of Puck in this play as a force for chaos and highlights his love of mischievousness. However, it is also one event that Puck actually does right - as the resulting confusion with the Athenian lovers displays. In response to being told about Titania's infatuation with Bottom (with an ass's head now, thanks to Puck), Oberon merely says:

This falls out better than I could devise

He then goes on to question whether Puck has completed his other charge of making Demetrius fall in love with Helena. However, examining the subtext of Puck's speech before where he tells Oberon what has happened, we can easily imagine Oberon's glee and satisfaction with what Puck has done. Consider Puck's way of narrating his achievement and the length he devotes to it:

I led them on in this distracted fear,

And left sweet Pyramus translated there:

When in that moment (so it came to pass)

Titania waked, and straightaway loved an ass.

Puck is keen to make his master pleased with him, which explains his extensive narration of the events and how he chaotically broke up the rehearsal of the Mechanicals and led a transformed Bottom to Titania. However, be sure to take note of the deeper message of this play, for Shakespeare is keen to establish the stupidity of us all when we come to love. The magic of love affects our eyes too, making figures like Bottom into characters who we feel are worthy of our affections. We, like Titania, are in danger of opening ourselves up to ridicule as love takes sway in our lives and we love inappropriate people.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes