What is the role of Titania in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Asked on by titaina

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kittydrama68's profile pic

kittydrama68 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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In theatrical context, Titania is a very strong character.  She is equal in power with her husband Oberon, and she has to deal with his immaturity and constant jealousies.  She is feminine and maternal, and highly respected in the fairy world.  Oberon is angry because Titania is giving her love and attentions to a baby (sometimes portrayed as a little boy, or a pre-pubescent boy), instead of to all of her attention to him. He is so upset that it has turned the fairy world upside down.  Summer feels like winter and the seasons are all out of whack.  Oberon demands that she give up the child; he will take the child from her and kill him, but she will not give him up despite Oberon's threats. 

Unfortunately, Titania loves the little boy, but is tricked or drugged into giving him up.  When given the "love potion", she falls in love with "an ass", thus losing all her sense of reason.  Bottom is a human, and in the play, human beings and fairies lives can intertwine.  Human beings and fairies can even mate creating a half-human half-fairy being (the Indian boy is a changeling).  Titania follows the character Bottom (the ass) like a love-sick puppy, until Oberon finally releases the spell and, like the typical plot in Shakespearian comedies, all is well again.

We don't know what happens to the Indian boy, but we do know that Titania loves her husband.  She deals with his indiscretions, as he does with hers.  They are a match made in fairy world.  We find out by the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream that both Titania and Oberon are quite a handful for the other, but they encompass what is the fairy world. 

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, Titania is the queen of the fairies, married to King Oberon.

Titania helps set the main action of the play in motion.  She has a changeling (a child that has been exchanged for another by fairies) and King Oberon wants the child for himself.

In order to get the boy, Oberon has Puck use the flower juice to make Titania fall in love with whoever she next sees.  Puck's use of the flower juice on Titania and others leads to various people falling in love with one another.

Wiggin42's profile pic

Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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Titania is queen of the fairies and Oberon is her husband. She is a powerful character with a striking presence. She is other worldly and supernatural. She is an epitome of femininity and fairness. Her love for the changeling boy makes Oberon jealous and his jealousy creates conflict in the play, as far as the fairies are concerned. 

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