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Authority and power/ use of magic and dreams/imperative: I'll met by moonlight, proud
Titania!" Note the tone of his language and the sense of imperialism in his voice. He doesn't
merely speak, but his tone carries a ponderous vibe. As the king of the fairy realm, Oberon
uses his power in a volatile manner. His rule is associated with the emotions, which may at
times fuel his aggression. He is a creator of dreams, one who works in the realms of
imagination and begets chaos and confusion. Once he finished meddling in the lovers' lives, he
orders to have everything changed into a "fierce vexation of a dream". (everything "shall
seem a dream, a fruitless vision")
His knowledge of magic and concoctions earns veneration and respect from other fairies.
His dialogue concering magic in Act 2 firmly suggests this "woodbine" "muskroses" and
"luscious eglantine" are for him to wield and command. Shakespeare strategically gives
Oberon the ability to describe beauty beyond what the mortals can achieve.
Cruelty and malice: One might argue that his treatment towards Titania is cruel: Not only
does he force her to submit to his rule, but he also shames her by forcing her to dote upon an
ass. He cruelly besmirches his wife by giving rather biased opinions of her infidelity, including
her affairs with the gods.
Jealousy: He is desirous of getting his hands on the Indian Boy his jealousy towards Titania
is made evident through his insults and disparaging remarks. He calls Titania "proud" and a
"rash wanton", and brings to light her infidelity and turpitude: "I know thy love to Theseus".
He further accuses Titania of running off with other gods. Titania rebukes Oberon, claiming
that these accusations are fabricated and "forgeries of jealousy".
Pity/ compassion: He sympathizes with Titania when she doted upon Bottom: "her dotage
now I begin to pity" "I will undo this hateful imperfection of her eyes"
He takes pity on Helena, who suffers from abuse and indifference. His love potion is initially
conjured to make Demetrius love Helena.
Likes peace and merrymaking: demands Puck to restore the lovers to their original state.
He also blesses the Athenians as they prepare for their pomp: "...bless it to all fair
prosperity... wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
Represents peace and invokes the light: casts Theseus' palace with a "glimmering light"
and a "drowsy fire". Furthermore, he speech is packed full with nature images: "field dew",
"consecrate" and "Nature's hand", bringing "sweet peace" to the land. By ending the play on
a gentler note, Oberon shows that he is a mercurial character of contradictions, capable of
hate, pity, merrymaking and love. (ps his mood changes swiftly without warning)
Titania regal, selfimportant, snobbish, elegiac, beautiful
Proud/reluctant to submit to authority
Fights for independence, Claims that she "has forsworn his bed and company".
Dignified yet succumbs to infatuation: dotes upon an ass, "enthralled" and excited about
Defiant and strong
Quarrels with Oberon for the Indian boy.
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Querulous and belligerent:
Argues with Oberon over petty things, such as the Indian Boy.
Her language is beautifully poetic, bedecked with nature images: she shows passion
and an intricate link with nature. When Oberon chides her, she retaliates by pointing out
the destruction they have done to nature. She personifies nature and embeds emotions within
it she describes nature filled with "anger", "revenge" and "mockery". Perhaps nature is
fighting back against the fairies' intervention.…read more
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As the subject of derision and victim of the play, Helena longs for true devotion from
Demetrius and shows it through emphatic diction: she wishes that she could be "translated"
into something otherworldly and divine. She makes reference to the role of sight:
"lodestars". Her suffering and the sheer absurdity of Demetrius's rejection are accentuated:
"The more I love, the more he hateth me" antithesis.…read more
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emphasis on physicality.
Additional notes on his behavior in Act one.
In front of Theseus, he coolly conversates and seems to prove his every assertion, refuting
Demetrius and Egeus when appropriate. He claims that he is "as well derived" and "as well
possessed" as Demetrius. In addition, he does himself justice by asking "Why should not I
then prosecute my right?" He then attacks Demetrius by pointing out that he is "a spotted
and inconstant man", which perhaps hints at his promiscuous past.…read more