A Midsummer Night's Dream Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Act 2, Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream, how is Titania's perseverance shown?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Oberon, king of the fairies, is an intimidating figure, but Titiania perseveres in standing up to him in Act II. He wants her to give him a young Indian boy she has adopted, but she refuses. She explains at length that this boy is the child of a friend of hers who was a "votaress" in her order. The two laughed and gossiped in India and sat together on Neptune's sands. When the woman was dying due to childbirth, she entrusted the infant to Titania. Titania states:
she, being mortal, of that boy did die.
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.
Oberon continues to ask for the child, saying it will bring peace between them if she gives him up. Titania continues to refuse, saying to him:
Not for thy fairy kingdom.
Oberon will have to find a strategy other than the direct approach if he is going to wrest the boy from Titania--and he does.

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Clearly the chief way in which Titania's perseverance is demonstrated in this scene is through her conflict with Oberon and her refusal to yield the child that he desires so much. However, I would argue that this scene demonstrates her stubborness more than her perseverance. Whatever Oberon says, she is resolute in her refusal to yield this boy to him. Note how she responds immediately to Oberon when he brings up the subject:

Set your heart at rest.

The fairy land buys not the child of me.

She goes on to explain that she is bringing up the boy for the sake of his mother, who was a "vot'ress" of her order, and it is for "her sake" that she will nto part with him. Titania leaves after saying that she would not give Oberon the boy for his "fairy kingdom," reinforcing her resolute position and stubborn nature. The overwhelming sense we get of her character is that she is a determined woman who will not yield what her husband desires from her. Thus stubborness is perhaps more appropriate than perseverance.

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