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

A Midsummer Night's Dream book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In Act 2 of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, why is Oberon angry with his queen?

Expert Answers info

Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write3,619 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

On the surface, it seems that Oberon is angry with Titania because she has taken into her care a particularly beautiful Indian boy changeling that Oberon is jealous of because he had his own intentions for the boy. However, literary critic Shirley Nelson Garner points out that there are actually deeper reasons.

We learn of Oberon's jealousy in Act 2 when Puck tell his fellow fairy that "Oberon is passing fell and wrath" because Titania has the lovely Indian boy (II.i.20). Puck further explains:

[Titania] never had so sweet a changeling
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild. (23-25)

Garner argues that both Titania and Oberon must feel a physical attraction for the boy, which partially explains Oberon's jealousy. Hence, we can say that one reason why Oberon is angry is that he is jealous of Titania for having the boy and...

(The entire section contains 463 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

juneythomas | Student

In Scene 1 of Act 2, Robin Goodfellow (Puck), a mishcevous spirit who serves Oberon explains the cause for the fairy king's anger towards his queen. Puck explains that Titania has stolen a "lovely boy" from an "Indian King".  This makes Oberon jealous and he tells her that he wants the boy for himself, to accompnay him on his wanderings in the woods. Titania refuses to give up the boy and instead continues to pamper the boy by weaving flowers in his hair. This refusal angers Oberon, and starts the quarell between the them that affects the rest of their fairy subjects. 

Act 2, scene 1, lines 6 to 17.