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A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

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Was Puck a servant of King Oberon?

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In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon is the king of the fairies. Puck is a magical sprite or pixie—a sort of supernatural being who belongs to the world of the fairies, but is not quite one of them. He is a servant of Oberon—he explains that his duty is to "jest to" Oberon. He therefore fulfills a similar role to the king's "fool" character we sometimes find in other Shakespeare plays, such as King Lear. Rather than being a manservant or general assistant, Puck is employed by Oberon for the purpose of providing entertainment, and it is generally understood that he cannot be entirely controlled, even by Oberon. Oberon is fond of him, calling him "my gentle Puck," and Puck does usually obey when Oberon calls him, but this cannot prevent him from being a nuisance to other people.

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