Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Titania and the Foolhardiness in her Wake

Well, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything on this blog! There is a lot more to Shakespeare than what we explored in the class and the blog can serve a continuing interest.
One character from A Midsummer Night's Dream that I thought of covering is Titania. The queen of the fairies, Titania is regal in her manners and appearance. She goes against Oberon, the King of the Fairies, to secure an Indian boy in her care. For a while Titania has the edge over Oberon...or does she?

Oberon's edge is Puck, whose mischievous nature manipulate's a donkeyfied Nick Bottom to fall for Titania. So why would the Queen of the Fairies ball for a buffoon now officially an ass? Because Puck inserted magical juice from a flower into her eyelids.

Titania's "romantic" relationship with Bottom appears to parody both the rich and poor. The extreme stereotypes of the self-righteous rich and the self-righteous poor are brought together, much to he humor of the audience!

As far as Shakespeare's female characters go, I would consider Titania is among the least developed. She does not appear to have any strong woes or complications save for safeguarding the Indian boy away from the fairy king. That does not mean she is a "useless" character. The relationship between Bottom and Titania can mirror the comedies involving the average looking dude and the beautiful woman. There's Something About Mary, A Fish Called Wanda and any Woody Allen comedy featuring the bumbling guy trying to get the vixen with success.

In Bottom's case however, his fun with Titania is assumed as a dream.

Titania, like other Shakespearian characters, has touched onto popular culture. The largest moon orbiting the planet Uranus is named after the Queen of the Fairies. The animated TV show Gargoyles also features Titania as a character.

- Kristopher

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