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What is the role of the faeries in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William...

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adrija | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 12, 2009 at 3:48 PM via web

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What is the role of the faeries in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare?

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sixxvonstar | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 25, 2009 at 12:51 AM (Answer #2)

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A Midsummer Night's Dream is ultimately a comedy, and the faeries provide a large part of humour to the play. 
Shakespeare created many powerful women characters within his works, For example: Portia from A Merchant Of Venice. Titania, Queen of the Faeries, is strong and dominant, unlike the female roles of Helena and Hermia who lack wisdom. The love affair between Titania and Bottom is perhaps the most comedic moment within the play.
Oberon is domineering but not in a negative way.  Despite the fact he tries to control Titania he results in having to place a spell upon her as he is not able to control her to his liking and this shows an independent side to Titania, but a rather soft and longing side to Oberon.
Titania appears to have more control over the faerie kingdom than Oberon, which is the opposite to what is occurring with the human lovers.  It is clear that both Titania and Oberon are in love with one another despite the trickery that takes place, and therefore this brings in the Universal themes of Jealousy (over power) and also love.
The faeries also allow us to question reality, as it can be argued that reality is only as one sees it, as with Bottom and Titania,despite them being under a spell, everything they do, say and feel is real to them, and just as real as the action that occurs in the scenes with the mechanicals
The faeries world is one of mystery and enchantment, bringing a light fantasy element to the play.

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