Titania is a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. In the play, she is the queen of the fairies. Due to Shakespeare's influence, later fiction has often used the name "Titania" for fairy queen characters.
Shakespeare's Titania is a very proud creature and as much of a force to contend with as her husband Oberon. She and Oberon are engaged in a marital quarrel over which of them should have the keeping of an Indian changeling boy. This quarrel is the engine that drives the mix ups and confusion of the other characters in the play. Due to an enchantment cast by Oberon's servant Puck, Titania magically falls in love with a "rude mechanical" (a labourer), Nick Bottom the weaver, has been given the head of a donkey by Puck, who feels it is better suited to his character. It has been argued that this incident is an inversion of the Circe story. In this case the tables are turned on the character, and rather than the sorceress turning her lovers into animals, she is made to love a donkey after Bottom has been transformed.
Titania has appeared in many other paintings, poems, plays and other works.
- Holland, Peter, ed. A Midsummer Night's Dream (OUP, 1994)
- Paul A. Olson, Beyond a Common Joy: An Introduction to Shakespearean Comedy, University of Nebraska 2008, pp 79-82
- Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi (eds.). "Description of " The Song of Los, copy B, object 5 (Bentley 5, Erdman 5, Keynes 5)"". William Blake Archive. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi (eds.). "The Song of Los, copy B, object 5 (Bentley 5, Erdman 5, Keynes 5)". William Blake Archive. Retrieved January 27, 2013.