A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Titania Character Analysis

The Queen of the Fairies and Oberon's wife. Titania is strong willed and independent, willing to fight her husband for control of the changeling boy. She is also powerful. Her fight with her husband causes nature to act strangely, and her fairies always follow her commands. She is not, however, immune to the power of the juice from the love-in-idleness flower. As a lover, she is doting, though jealous. It also seems that, like her husband, through the years she's had many an extra-marital amorous affair.

Titania Quotes in A Midsummer Night's Dream

The A Midsummer Night's Dream quotes below are all either spoken by Titania or refer to Titania. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream published in 2004.
Act 2, scene 1 Quotes
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. (235)
Related Characters: Oberon (speaker), Titania
Related Symbols: The Love Juice
Page Number: 2.1.257-264
Explanation and Analysis:

After watching Helena and Demetrius’ interaction, Oberon plots how to resolve their conflict at the same time as playing his prank on Tatiana. He describes to Puck his plan to make use of a flower that makes people fall in love.

Oberon’s language here is lush and evocative. He references a variety of different exotic plants at the site where the potion will be found, describing a scene of splendor and vibrance. Forming the speech from sets of rhyming couplets renders it deeply entrancing—thus foreshadowing the way the flowers’ juice will bewitch the lovers. (Note how the eloquence of Oberon’s rhymes is deeply in contrast with Bottom’s in Act 1 Scene 2.) That Tatiana is “Lull’d in these flowers” similarly foreshadows how flowers will be the instruments of enchantment for those who sleep. 


Yet within this tranquil environment Oberon describes, the reference to the “snake” carries a slightly more insidious note—in particular since the following reference is to entrapment: “Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.” Oberon could be showing here how the enchanting and luscious environment can at once carry darker notes of entrapment. Yet the play will ultimately only make those darker notes instruments of enjoyable deceit rather than true manipulation.

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Act 2, scene 2 Quotes
When thou wakest, it is thy dear:
Wake when some vile thing is near. (22)
Related Characters: Oberon (speaker), Titania
Related Symbols: The Love Juice
Page Number: 2.2.39-40
Explanation and Analysis:

Oberon has snuck past Tatiana’s attendants as she sleeps. He places the love potion on her eyes and hopes she will spy something unpleasant when she wakes up.

These lines describe succinctly the way the love potion will affect Tatiana. Whatever she sees when she stops sleeping will be her “dear”: the thing she loves the most. And thus Oberon hopes that what she spies will be “vile,” causing her to fall in love with some odious being. By rhyming “dear” with “near,” he draws attention to the way that Tatiana’s love will be predicated on proximity rather than real romantic sentiment. Indeed, the rhyme is important to note here, for it presents these lines as sonorous rather than actually sinister. As is characteristic of this comedy, the plot resists entering a truly negative realm. Even as Oberon moves to deceive Tatiana, his lighthearted tone presents the behavior to be a mere dalliance or game.

Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania waked and straightway loved an ass. (33)
Related Characters: Robin Goodfellow (Puck) (speaker), Nick Bottom, Titania
Related Symbols: The Love Juice
Page Number: 3.2.35-36
Explanation and Analysis:

The first being that Titania sees when she awakes is a bewitched Bottom who now has the head of a donkey. Puck explains those events to Oberon with what might be best described as delighted glee.

These lines fulfill Oberon’s earlier hope that Tatiana would spy something “vile” when she awoke. Indeed, his wish seems to have been fulfilled far beyond his hopes. For she has fallen in love not only with a “vile” human but actually a partial animal: an “ass” both in name (Bottom) and body. That Puck conveys this information with his characteristic singsong tone presents it to be lighthearted. But beyond that levity, he also adopts the distanced perspective of a theater director or storyteller. Puck describes Titania’s actions—“so it came to pass”—as if they were performed by a character in a different tale. Thus he presents himself and Oberon as the creators of the plot events being watched by the audience. Shakespeare forefronts, in this way, how people can function as playwrights, scripting their lives and those of others from a distanced point of view.

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Titania Character Timeline in A Midsummer Night's Dream

The timeline below shows where the character Titania appears in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
...meets with Robin Goodfellow. They discuss the conflict between Oberon, king of the fairies, and Titania, the queen of the fairies, about which of them should get to keep a beautiful... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Puck quiets as Oberon and Titania enter. Oberon tells her, "ill met by moonlight, proud Titania" (2.1.62). They immediately begin to... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Titania tells Oberon that their fight has disordered nature, resulting in floods, fogs, dead livestock, and... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Once Titania is gone, Oberon vows to punish her for not obeying him. He calls to Puck,... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Oberon, alone, muses on his plan: he'll wait until Titania is asleep and then place the juice on her eyes. When she wakes she'll fall... (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
That night in the woods, Titania's fairy followers sing her to sleep in a beautiful glade. Oberon then sneaks past the... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
A while later, the laborers unknowingly enter the glade where Titania sleeps to rehearse their play. Before they start, Bottom states his concern that parts of... (full context)
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The Supernatural Theme Icon
Titania wakes at the sound of Bottom's voice. She begs Bottom to continue singing and tells... (full context)
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Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Titania tells Bottom he must stay with her in the woods whether he wants to or... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
As Oberon wonders whether Titania has woken and with whom or what she's fallen in love, Puck enters and tells... (full context)
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
...and tricks. Puck does just that as Oberon exits to go get the changeling from Titania. (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
In her bower, Titania dotes on Bottom, placing flowers in his hair and kissing his mule-like ears as Bottom... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Oberon and Puck enter. Oberon says that he now feels sorry for Titania, especially since she gave him the changeling the night before. He tells Puck to give... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Then Oberon drops the juice on Titania's eyelids. She wakes, and though confused how she could have loved an ass, reconciles with... (full context)
Act 5, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Puck enters, followed by Oberon, Titania and their fairy followers. They dance and sing to bless the three marriages and all... (full context)
Act 5, scene 2
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Puck enters, followed by Oberon, Titania and their fairy followers. They dance and sing to bless the three marriages and all... (full context)