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A Midsummer Nights Dream act IV, scene I. Titania, with fairies in attendance. Engraving from a painting by Henry Fuseli, published 1796.

Titania is the name of a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Shakespeare's 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]

In the Shakespeare play, Titania is a very proud creature and as much of a force to contend with as her husband Oberon. The marital quarrel she and her husband are engaged in over which of them should have the keeping of a changeling page 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 henchman Puck, Titania magically falls in love with a rude mechanical (a lower class laborman), Nick Bottom the Weaver, who has been given the head of an ass by Puck, who feels it is better suited to his character (which bears a resemblance to the story of Lycaon).


Oberon states in the play:

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 sometime 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

Contents

Fairies view on human mortality

In the second act, Titania refers to the Athenians as "human mortals." Scholar John Hale interprets this as a reference to the mortality of humans from the faerie point of view, indicative of Shakespeare's ability to write from the perspective of all of his characters. Titania's use of the word "mortal" both looks down upon and sympathizes with youths.[2]

Other historical references

Subsequently, Titania has appeared in many other paintings, poems, plays and even graphic novels.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe took the figures from Shakespeare's work to Faust I. Titania is married to Oberon, and the couple is celebrating its golden wedding anniversary in Faust I.

Titania is also the largest of Uranus's moons, among others that are also named after Shakespearian characters and those of Alexander Pope.

Alfred Lord Tennyson's play The Foresters, which is a Robin Hood story, has a brief segment with Titania, queen of the Fairies.

Modern references

  • She has occasional cameo roles in Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic series, and is a major supporting character in The Books of Magic. In the mythology of those comic series, she is a mortal woman, who has lived and ruled in fairy land so long that no one remembers she once looked (and still is, under her magical seeming) human. It is hinted, though never outright stated, that she may have once been the lover of Dream, the protagonist of the Sandman series. It is eventually revealed that she is the mother of Timothy Hunter, the protagonist of the Books of Magic series. The character recently returned in her own graphic novel God Save the Queen.
  • In Disney's Gargoyles, Titania was the queen of the fairies, but a millennium before the main events of the series, she apparently greatly angered her husband Oberon, causing them to divorce and him to banish her and all other members of their race from Avalon to teach her to "grow up." It is possible that she manipulated Oberon into that action though, as she was shown to make several such clever feints and ploys during her appearances in the series. The royal pair eventually reconciled and remarried. She was voiced by Kate Mulgrew.
  • Titania and Oberon appear as major characters in the novel Magic Street by Orson Scott Card.
  • Titania is the queen of the Summer Court of the Faeries in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books.
  • In King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, Titania and Oberon must save the world of Eldritch. This is her only appearance in the series and is the mother of Edgar and the sister of Malacia which are both made up characters.
  • In Frewin Jones's The Faerie Path, Titania is the mother of the book's main character, Tania.
  • In E.D. Baker's book Winged Titania plays the Queen of the Fairies who the goblins dislike, because her rules and judgment of what the goblins do in the human world.
  • In the Doubled Edge series by Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis, Titania is the High Queen of the Sidhe (elves) and the consort to Oberon. She is the patron and protector of the young magician Elizabeth Tudor. It is hinted that Titania is in fact Hera.
  • Titania is the aunt of the Raven King The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Titania is a Persona of the Lovers Arcana, while Oberon is a Persona of the Emperor Arcana.
  • In The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, protagonist Dr. Miles Bennell quotes the opening line of Oberon's poem; "I know a bank where wild thyme blows".
  • Titania is the name of the axe-wielding knight in the English versions of the Nintendo Video Games, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. She was second-in-command of a small mercenary group called, "Greil's Mercenaries".
  • Titania and Oberon both appear as the king and queen of the fairies in the TV film, Voyage of the Unicorn.
  • In Final Fantasy Legend II, the final evolution of the Fairy-class was called Titania.
  • Titania is the heart, the mind, the spirit, the soul of the Starship Titanic. novel and video game by Douglas Adams.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Titania is a large-breasted woman who competes in a contest sponsored by Duff brewery.
  • Titania is mentioned in the Star Trek episode Time's Arrow. While traveling back in time to save Data, the rent on the lodging for Picard and his crew in the 20th century is due. When the landlord comes in to collect it, Picard pretends to have an acting troupe and has the landlord read the part of Titania.
  • Titania is the name of a fictional planet in the Star Fox video game series.
  • Titania appears as the King of Pride in the Little Fears RPG.
  • Titania appears in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game (TCG) as a Plant-type monster known as "Tytannial, Princess of Camellias" , which is currently one of the strongest Plant-type monsters in the game. [3]
  • Titania is also the nickname given to Erza Scarlet, the strongest woman in the Fairy Tail guild, in the manga Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima.
  • In Summer Dream Titania is an elven queen.
  • Titania is the wife of Oberon of the Summerdream family in the PC life simulator game The Sims 2.
  • Titania[1] is the name of a Fairy type NPC(non-player character) in the MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI[2]. She can be recruited as a freelance and assists in campaign battles across Vana'diel during the Wings of the Goddess Storyline.
  • In the children's book series The Sisters Grimm, Titania and Oberon both feature in book four, "Once Upon a Crime", as the parents of Puck, one of the main characters. They argue most of the time they are seen interacting, but when Oberon is murdered during a party, Titania morphs into a fire-breathing monster and threatens to kill everyone to avenge her love if the murderer is not found.
  • Regina Titania is ruler of the Seelie Court in the 2009 novel "Midwinter" by Matthew Sturges. She is enemy to the Unseelie Queen Mab.
  • U.A Fanthorpe's poem "Titania to Bottom"

References

  1. ^ Holland, Peter, ed. A Midsummer Night's Dream (OUP, 1994)
  2. ^ Hale, John, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream 2.1.101
  3. ^ "Tytannial, Princess of Camellias" Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also titania

English

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Titania

Plural
-

Titania

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Wikipedia

  1. Character in Shakespeare's play A Midsummer-Night's Dream, the queen of the fairies.
  2. (astronomy): The fourteenth and largest satellite of the planet Uranus.







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