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A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

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In Act 2, Scene 1, what's Oberon and Titania's past involvement with Theseus and Hippolyta?

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In Act 2, scene 1 of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania and Oberon, the queen and king of Fairyland, argue about their roles within their own marriage. During this argument, Titania confronts Oberon about his past love affair with Hippolyta, reminding him of his current mistress in the same speech. In her displeasure, she mocks Oberon's tendency to dress up as a shepherd in order to leave Fairyland and see his current love.

Oberon returns with a barb about Titania's past love affair with Theseus, as well as Titania's possessiveness over Theseus that drove him to break his promises to other women. Titania denies Oberon's charges, calling them lies and changing the subject to the effect of their argument on other residents of Fairyland.

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In this scene, we find out that Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies, have been romantically involved with Theseus, Duke of Athens, and his fiancee, Hippolyta.

We are told that Oberon was having an affair with Hippolyta.  Titania scolds him for it in this scene.  When she scolds him, Theseus responds in kind.  He tells Titania that she should not be talking about his affair because she was having her own affair with Theseus.

So it seems that the fairies have managed somehow to end up having love affairs with the human beings.

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