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A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

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

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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. 

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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.

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What is Titania's role as a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Titania's role in A Midsummer Night's Dream is to provide the conflict among the fairy world showing us that even the dreamlike fairy world is not perfect but also has its share of foolish behavior.

Titania's conflict with Oberon serves to portray a married couple who is on emotionally shaky ground. Also, Titania and Oberon are the only couple in the play who start out united, have a legitimate fight that is not magically induced, and then happily unite at the end. Shakespeare uses this couple to show us the foolish selfishness of love.

Titinia creates the conflict with Oberon by taking a particularly beautiful Indian boy that Oberon already wanted to train as one of his knights. Titania claims that she is refusing to give Oberon the boy because the boy's mother was her friend and died in child labor, so Titania promised to care for him, as we see in her lines:

But she being mortal, of that boy did die;
And for her sake do I rear up the boy;
And for her sake I will not part with him. (II.i.137-139)

Titania's refusal creates many fights between her and Oberon in which they even accuse each other of infidelity. Titania's fights with Oberon show us just how foolish lovers can be, especially with respect to selfishness. It further shows us that even the dreamlike state that the fairy world can create is not perfect. However, by the end of the play, Titania has relented and given up the boy. She has even made up with Oberon. Together, she, Oberon, and all the other fairies bless the couples sharing their wedding night in Theseus's home so that the couples will remain faithful and true to each other, as we see in Oberon's lines in the blessing,"So shall all the couples three / Ever true in loving be" (V.i.402-403). Her unity with Oberon and their joint venture to create everlasting love for the couples shows us Shakespeare's point that even though lovers act foolishly, once they set aside their foolish ways, their love can be mended.

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