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A Midsummer's Night's Dream (3): Understanding the Characters Oberon and Titania

This worksheet will enable the pupil to deepen their understanding of some of the central characters in the play: Oberon and Titania.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Set, Plot and Character Awareness

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

This worksheet will help you to learn more about some important characters in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. You are going to learn about Oberon and Titania.

 

Fairy silhouette on a background of nature - stock vector

Who are Oberon and Titania?

King and Queen of Athens

King and Queen of the forest

King and Queen of the fairies

Using your knowledge of the plot, what are Titania and Oberon doing at the start of the play?

They are arguing.

They are planning to get married.

They are plotting something.

Read Puck's description of the reasons for Titania and Oberon's argument and then answer the questions that follow:

 

 

PUCK:

The king doth keep his revels here to-night:

Take heed the queen come not within his sight;

For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,

Because that she as her attendant hath

A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;

She never had so sweet a changeling;

And jealous Oberon would have the child

Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;

But she perforce withholds the loved boy,

Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy:

And now they never meet in grove or green,

By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,

But, they do square, that all their elves for fear

 

 

Why are Titania and Oberon arguing? 

Oberon has stolen one of Titania's servants.

Titania has stolen one of Oberon's servants.

Titania has stolen a boy from an Indian king and Oberon wants him to be his servant.

Read Puck's explanation of the argument again and this time match the Shakespearean lines with their modern meaning.

Column A

Column B

The king doth keep his revels here to-night: Take ...
The king is going to party here in the wood tonigh...
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Because tha...
Now they never spend any time together and if they...
She never had so sweet a changeling; And jealous ...
However, Titania is keeping the boy all to herself...
But she perforce withholds the loved boy, Crowns ...
Titania has never had such a sweet servant and Obe...
And now they never meet in grove or green, By fou...
Oberon is really angry because Titania has a new s...

Now read the first words we hear Titania and Oberon speak to each other:

 

 

OBERON:

Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

 

TITANIA:

What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:

I have forsworn his bed and company.

 

OBERON: 

Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

 

TITANIA:

Then I must be thy lady:

 

 

Which adjectives sum up how the characters view each other? Match the words that best suit the character.

Column A

Column B

Oberon
jealous
Titania
proud

Oberon and Titania are King and Queen of the fairies. 

How could you show this on the stage? Select three ideas from the list below.

They can have spotlights on them.

Their costumes may make them stand out in some way.

They may stand at the back of the stage.

They may stand on raised blocks on the stage or at the front of the stage.

They may stand in the wings of the stage.

Their costumes will blend in with the others.

Because Titania and Oberon are such powerful characters, their argument has a direct effect on the human world.

Read Titania's description of the problems their argument has caused for the human world and then select four correct things that have happened as a result of their row from the list below.

 

 

TITANIA:

Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,

As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea

Contagious fogs; which falling in the land

Have every pelting river made so proud

That they have overborne their continents:

The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,

The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn

Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;

The fold stands empty in the drowned field,

And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;

The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,

And the quaint mazes in the wanton green

For lack of tread are undistinguishable:

The human mortals want their winter here;

No night is now with hymn or carol blest:

Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,

Pale in her anger, washes all the air,

That rheumatic diseases do abound:

And thorough this distemperature we see

The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts

Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,

And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown

An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds

Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,

The childing autumn, angry winter, change

Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,

By their increase, now knows not which is which:

And this same progeny of evils comes  

There is fog everywhere.

There is a drought.

All the rivers have flooded.

Crops and animals have died.

It is always winter and cold.

It is always summer and hot.

Oberon begs Titania for the changling boy but she refuses. Why does Titania refuse? Select the reason why from the options below.

 

 

OBERON: 

Do you amend it then; it lies in you:

Why should Titania cross her Oberon?

I do but beg a little changeling boy,

To be my henchman.

 

TITANIA:

Set your heart at rest: The fairy land buys not the child of me.

His mother was a votaress of my order:

And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,

Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,

And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,

Marking the embarked traders on the flood,

When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive

And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;

Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait

Following,--her womb then rich with my young squire,--

Would imitate, and sail upon the land,

To fetch me trifles, and return again,

As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.

But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;

And for her sake do I rear up her boy,

And for her sake I will not part with him.

 

OBERON: 

How long within this wood intend you stay?

 

TITANIA:

Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.

If you will patiently dance in our round

And see our moonlight revels, go with us;

If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

 

OBERON: 

Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.

 

TITANIA:

Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!

We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.

 

 

Exit TITANIA with her train

Titania went to a lot of effort to steal the boy from the King so won't give him up.

Titania paid a lot of money for the boy.

Titania was good friends with the boy's mother who died in childbirth. She then felt she owed it to her to look after her son.

  • Question 1

Who are Oberon and Titania?

CORRECT ANSWER
King and Queen of the fairies
EDDIE SAYS
Oberon and Titania are King and Queen of the fairies.
  • Question 2

Using your knowledge of the plot, what are Titania and Oberon doing at the start of the play?

CORRECT ANSWER
They are arguing.
EDDIE SAYS
At the start of the play Oberon and Titania are arguing.
  • Question 3

Read Puck's description of the reasons for Titania and Oberon's argument and then answer the questions that follow:

 

 

PUCK:

The king doth keep his revels here to-night:

Take heed the queen come not within his sight;

For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,

Because that she as her attendant hath

A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;

She never had so sweet a changeling;

And jealous Oberon would have the child

Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;

But she perforce withholds the loved boy,

Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy:

And now they never meet in grove or green,

By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,

But, they do square, that all their elves for fear

 

 

Why are Titania and Oberon arguing? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Titania has stolen a boy from an Indian king and Oberon wants him to be his servant.
EDDIE SAYS
Titania and Oberon are arguing because Titania has stolen a boy from an Indian king and Oberon wants him to be his servant.
  • Question 4

Read Puck's explanation of the argument again and this time match the Shakespearean lines with their modern meaning.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

The king doth keep his revels her...
The king is going to party here i...
For Oberon is passing fell and wr...
Oberon is really angry because Ti...
She never had so sweet a changeli...
Titania has never had such a swee...
But she perforce withholds the lo...
However, Titania is keeping the b...
And now they never meet in grove ...
Now they never spend any time tog...
EDDIE SAYS
The king doth keep his revels here to-night: Take heed the queen come not within his sight; = The king is going to party here in the wood tonight so we'd better hope Titania doesn't show up...

For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Because that she as her attendant hath A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king; = Oberon is really angry because Titania has a new servant, a lovely boy she has stolen from an Indian king.

She never had so sweet a changeling; And jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild; = Titania has never had such a sweet servant and Oberon is jealous of him and wants the boy to join his band of fairies.

But she perforce withholds the loved boy, Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy: = However, Titania is keeping the boy all to herself and loves him and makes him crowns out of flowers. He is her pride and joy.

And now they never meet in grove or green, By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen, But, they do square, that all their elves for fear Creep into acorns = Now they never spend any time together and if they do they argue so much that all the elves hide because they are so scared.
  • Question 5

Now read the first words we hear Titania and Oberon speak to each other:

 

 

OBERON:

Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

 

TITANIA:

What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:

I have forsworn his bed and company.

 

OBERON: 

Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

 

TITANIA:

Then I must be thy lady:

 

 

Which adjectives sum up how the characters view each other? Match the words that best suit the character.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Oberon
jealous
Titania
proud
EDDIE SAYS
Oberon is described as being jealous and Titania is described as being proud.
  • Question 6

Oberon and Titania are King and Queen of the fairies. 

How could you show this on the stage? Select three ideas from the list below.

CORRECT ANSWER
They can have spotlights on them.
Their costumes may make them stand out in some way.
They may stand on raised blocks on the stage or at the front of the stage.
EDDIE SAYS
To emphasise their royalty, Titania and Oberon may have spotlights on them, their costumes may make them stand out in some way and they may stand on raised blocks on the stage or at the front of the stage.
  • Question 7

Because Titania and Oberon are such powerful characters, their argument has a direct effect on the human world.

Read Titania's description of the problems their argument has caused for the human world and then select four correct things that have happened as a result of their row from the list below.

 

 

TITANIA:

Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,

As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea

Contagious fogs; which falling in the land

Have every pelting river made so proud

That they have overborne their continents:

The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,

The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn

Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;

The fold stands empty in the drowned field,

And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;

The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,

And the quaint mazes in the wanton green

For lack of tread are undistinguishable:

The human mortals want their winter here;

No night is now with hymn or carol blest:

Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,

Pale in her anger, washes all the air,

That rheumatic diseases do abound:

And thorough this distemperature we see

The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts

Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,

And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown

An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds

Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,

The childing autumn, angry winter, change

Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,

By their increase, now knows not which is which:

And this same progeny of evils comes  

CORRECT ANSWER
There is fog everywhere.
All the rivers have flooded.
Crops and animals have died.
It is always winter and cold.
EDDIE SAYS
Titania and Oberon's argument has caused fog, floods, death of animals and crops and it is always winter.
  • Question 8

Oberon begs Titania for the changling boy but she refuses. Why does Titania refuse? Select the reason why from the options below.

 

 

OBERON: 

Do you amend it then; it lies in you:

Why should Titania cross her Oberon?

I do but beg a little changeling boy,

To be my henchman.

 

TITANIA:

Set your heart at rest: The fairy land buys not the child of me.

His mother was a votaress of my order:

And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,

Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,

And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,

Marking the embarked traders on the flood,

When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive

And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;

Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait

Following,--her womb then rich with my young squire,--

Would imitate, and sail upon the land,

To fetch me trifles, and return again,

As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.

But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;

And for her sake do I rear up her boy,

And for her sake I will not part with him.

 

OBERON: 

How long within this wood intend you stay?

 

TITANIA:

Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.

If you will patiently dance in our round

And see our moonlight revels, go with us;

If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

 

OBERON: 

Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.

 

TITANIA:

Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!

We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.

 

 

Exit TITANIA with her train

CORRECT ANSWER
Titania was good friends with the boy's mother who died in childbirth. She then felt she owed it to her to look after her son.
EDDIE SAYS
Titania won't give up the boy because she was good friends with the boy's mother who died in childbirth. She then felt she owed it to her to look after her son.
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