Darker Elements

Dreams offer an opportunity to escape order and reality, and Shakespeare explores this freedom fully. Sometimes he does so for comic effect, as in the muddling of the lovers, but at other times the fantasy turns darker. Does Titania really fall in love and couple with a donkey, or is it just a dream? Are Lysander's cruel words to Hermia part of a dream, or a reminder of the fickleness of love?

Oberon's desire is to play a cruel trick upon Titania. By bewitching her so that she loves the first creature she sees upon wakening, he removes her freedom, and her own will. She is powerless until, overcome by remorse, Oberon removes the enchantment.


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