Titania

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Shakespeare's Titania depicted by Edwin Landseer in his painting Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream, based on A Midsummer Night's Dream act IV, scene I, with Bottom and fairies in attendance.

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.

In traditional folklore, the fairy queen has no name. Shakespeare took the name "Titania" from Ovid's Metamorphoses, where it is an appellation given to the daughters of Titans.[1]

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.[2] 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.

Other references[edit]

One of William Blake's illustration to his The Song of Los, scholars have traditionally identified the figures as Titania and Oberon, though not all new scholarship does.[3] This copy, currently held by the Library of Congress, was printed and painted in 1795.[4]
The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania, by Joseph Noel Paton, c. 1849

Titania has appeared in many other paintings, poems, plays and other works.

  • In Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, the title character is a descendent of Titania.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe included the figures from Shakespeare's work in Faust I, where she and her husband are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.
  • Carl Maria von Weber used the characters of Titania, Oberon and Puck in his opera Oberon, but this time set during the reign of Charlemagne.
  • Titania appears in the Persona franchise as an optional Persona for the silent protagonist along with Oberon.
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson's play The Foresters, which is a Robin Hood story, has a brief segment with Titania, Queen of the Fairies.
  • Titania, one of Uranus's moons, was also named after her.
  • Titania appears in the popular online game Warframe as the namesake of one of the titular Warframes, featuring razor-butterflies and assorted fairy-themed abilities.[5]
  • Titania, Queen of the Fairies, is the nickname given to Erza Scarlet in the Fairy Tail manga and anime.
  • In Jim Butcher's book series The Dresden Files Queen Titania, the Fairy Queen of The Summer Court, is a recurring character who holds a deep hatred for Harry Dresden.[citation needed]
  • In the Fairy Dance arc of the manga and anime Sword Art Online, Oberon refers to Asuna as Titania, Queen of the fairies.
  • In the short story Marriage A La Mode, written by Katherine Mansfield, Isabel is referred as Titania.
  • In the manga and anime The Ancient Magus' Bride (魔法使いの嫁 Mahō Tsukai no Yome) the Queen of the Fairies is named Titania. Her husband Oberon also appears.
  • In the cartoon Gargoyles she appears in her homeland of Avalon. Fighting with her husband Oberon. She is also the mother to a Human character named Fox.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holland, Peter, ed. A Midsummer Night's Dream (OUP, 1994)
  2. ^ Paul A. Olson, Beyond a Common Joy: An Introduction to Shakespearean Comedy, University of Nebraska 2008, pp 79-82
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Warframe Titania". warframe.com. Digital Extremes. Retrieved 1 December 2016.