Titania: Character Analysis in A Midsummer Night's Dream

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      Introduction. Titania is the wife of Oberon. This makes her the queen of fairies. She has a train of attendants who can assist her with her daily work but she has taken a liking towards one particular attendant, a changeling who was stolen by the fairies from an Indian household. She bestows him with gifts and appreciation. She crowns this attendant with flowers and makes him the source of all joy to her. However, Oberon is also fond of this attendant and wants to acquire him. He is ready to do this at any cost, willing to go to any means to accomplish this task. He asks Puck to squeeze the juice of a magical flower on her eyes so that she falls in love with someone else. Puck obeys his command and follows his instruction. Titania, under the influence of the magical flower falls in love with a donkey and gets preoccupied with it. Oberon seizes this opportunity and asks for this attendant. She gives away this boy as she is under the influence of the love potion.

      Headstrong Character. Titania is a stubborn and headstrong woman. She is not willing to give up her attendant to Oberon. For this, she has to argue incessantly with Oberon and engage in verbal duels. This disturbs Titania as such arguments disturb the natural order of things. However, Titania is not willing to obey Oberon. On the contrary, she asks Oberon to be calm and give up his wish of acquiring her attendant. Like other woman characters in the play, she is also subject to the domination and machinations of men. However being a strong-willed character, she does not succumb to the pressure of obeying the male characters in the play. She may not be a feminist but she is an interesting character and can be taken up for case analysis.

      Virtue of friendship. Titania claims that the attendant she has is actually the child of a mortal, human friend she had. She takes on her child to care for him and provide him with a normal life. She uses the child as her attendant and showers him with gifts and appreciation. Oberon also desires to have this boy as his attendant but Titania is determined to not give up the boy. She cites this reason to not give up the boy that she promised the boy's mother that she will always keep the boy close to him. From Titania's speeches we realize that she is a friendly fairy. This friendship which she shared with the earthly mortal is a deep and joyful friendship. She says, "Full often hath she gossp'd by my side; And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands". She treats this boy as a memento, a reminder of her friendship with this earthly mortal. But as Fate would have it, she is forced to give up this boy even though she does this under the influence of a magic flower whose juice is squeezed into her eyes by Puck on the command of Oberon. Therefore we can say that Titania stands for the virtue of friendship.

      Significance of her character. Titania is a source of three major elements in the play-comedy; magic and love. She is an obstinate fairy who believes in being determined to pursue what she wants. She is as stubborn as her husband, Oberon. Since both of them are headstrong characters, they always engage in quarrels which lead their marriage into an uncomfortable space. She provides romance and comedy through the episode of her falling in love with Bottom wearing the donkey's mask. Her behavior becomes a source of merriment to the other characters. She is a lively spirit. This is evident from the fact that she enjoys singing and dancing with her attendant fairies.

      Conclusion. Titania is the queen of fairies. She is extremely proficient in magic and therefore is a force to reckon with in the world of magic. However, she is not full of vain like one would expect a queen to be and as one also sees strains of in Hippolyta. She associates freely with the other fairies who are her attendants and in other words who are her servants. She does not hesitate in dancing and singing with them. She is also a compassionate character as she adopts the changeling and takes care of it like her own child. She is also willing to put her relationship with her husband, Oberon at stake to not endanger the safety and security of this changeling. She is a strong woman character, albeit a fairy who remains obstinate and puts her foot down for what she believes to be right. She even refuses to stay with Oberon until he changes his mind.

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