In a Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon is the King of the fairies, who is able to disguise himself as a human being. In some ways he bridges the world of humans and the fairy world.
Oberon's Personality Traits
When he first appears in the play in Act II, Oberon, who is married to Titiana, engages in a love quarrel with her much like that of human beings as they resurrect old infidelities. When he first sees his wife, Titiana declares that she will no longer share her bed with him.
TITA. What, jealous Oberon?—Fairies, skip hence.
I have forsworn his bed and company.
OBE. Tarry, rash wanton, am I not thy lord? (2.1.47-49)
Enraged, Oberon demands his rights as a husband. But, the real reason for his jealousy is the fight over the changeling boy that Titiana holds because he wants the boy for his own. Titania refuses, insisting that she was friends with the human mother who died giving birth to the boy. Angered, Oberon devises a plan to capture the child: He sends Puck to search for a certain flower that has juices which makes people fall in love with the next creature they see after it is sprinkled on them. While Titania is under the spell, Oberon plans to steal the changeling by
streak[ing] her eyes" with magic juice "and make her full of hateful fantasies" (2.1.257-58).
After Titania is treated with this magical flower, she awakens and finds Bottom, whose head has been changed to that of a donkey because of the mischief of Puck; then, instantly, she falls in love with him. While Oberon has not intended this situation to occur, he has hoped that Titania will wake and fall in love with "some vile thing" (3.2.34).
- Power-hungry and selfishly destructive
The power struggles between Oberon and Titania are so violent that they have caused great disruptions in the weather. Titania chides him for his selfishness which has effected great seasonal changes and harm to cattle and sheep:
But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have sucked up from the sea
Contagious fogs, which falling in the land
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents. (2.1.72-77)
- Sympathetic to the human lovers
After having sent Puck to find the flower that will make Titania fall in love with the first creature she sees when she awakens, Oberon observes Helena in pursuit of Demetrius, who cruelly dismisses her. The fairy king decides to use the same flower Puck finds for Titania to help Helena. He instructs Puck to search for a man who wears Athenian garments (meaning Demetrius) and sprinkle this man with the flower. However, Puck mistakenly anoints Lysander's eyes. So, the world of the humans becomes as confused as that of the fairies.
Nevertheless, Oberon finally manages to set things right as he ensures that the proper lovers are paired with each other. He has Demetrius remain in love with Helena, and he ensures that Lysander forgets about what has occurred with Helena, believing it was all a dream. As a result, Lysander's love is again directed toward Hermia.
Oberon also fixes things in the fairy world by removing the spell from Titania, although he steals the changeling boy before doing so and then removing "the imperfection from her eyes" regarding Bottom.
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see:....
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen. (4.1.55-58)
Truly, Oberon is a complex character as he seems to have two sides. On the one hand, he is the jealous, demanding husband and a selfish being who does not care that he has disturbed the weather with all his marital quarrels and jealousies; on the other hand, he is romantic and concerned about the human beings, ensuring that Helena captures Demetrius and the other humans are paired as they should be.