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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 Nights 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

keiraOne 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]

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.

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 satellites, was also named after her.

There is a butterfly named Boloria titania, common name Titania's Fritillary.

Modern references

The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania, by Joseph Noel Paton, c. 1849
  • 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. In 2007, the character returned in her own graphic novel God Save the Queen.
  • In Disney's Gargoyles, Titania was the queen of the fairies (fair folk, or "Third Race"), 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. However, during her time posing as a human named Anastasia, she fell in love and married a human named Halcyon Renard who she ended-up having a half-mortal and half-fair folk daughter named Fox with. Fox would later marry the series main villain, the amoral billionaire industrialist David Xanatos and have a son named Alexander. Alexander Xanatos' birth caused a fight to break-out between the mortals and Gargoyles (the "first" and "second" races in the series) vs. the "third race" fairies. Oberon came for Titania the night after Alexander was born and after he discovered that Titania had become a grandmother, decided (with some pleading and influence by Titania) that Alexander had amazing magical potential and attempted to take him from his parents and loved ones. He only left them alone when he was convinced by Goliath that his servant Puck — who had himself been working for Xanatos as the human "Owen Burnett" — would see to Alexander's protection and training, after which Oberon and Titania left. 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 whom the goblins dislike because of 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
  • Titania and Oberon are daemons of Fairy clan in various MegaTen games.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • UA Fanthorpe's poem "Titania to Bottom"
  • The card game Magic the Gathering has several cards in reference to Titania
  • Titania and Oberon appear (although not mentioned by name) in Terry Pratchett's book Lords and Ladies, which is a partial parody of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Titania later reappears in Science of the Discworld II: The Globe.
  • In the anime/light novel Sword Art Online. during the Fairy Dance arc, Asuna Yuuki was captured in ALFheim Online by Sugou Nobuyuki and given the avatar of Titania. Sugou's avatar is also named Oberon as he holds her captive at the top of the World Tree.
  • Titania, Oberon, and Puck all make appearances in Ethan Russell Erway's The Adventures of Michael Belmont young adult book series.[5]
  • Titania, along with her husband Oberon make regular appearances as recurring demons in the Megami Tensei series and its spinoffs.
  • In Hex: Shards of Fate, Titania is the Primal of Wild magic.
  • In the Player's Handbook for the 5th Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game, Titania is listed as a potential patron for the warlock character class. Specifically, she is listed as Titania, Queen of the Summer Court under a list of Fey patrons suggested for the players.
  • In Hiro Mashima's Japanese anime, Fairy Tail, Erza Scarlet bears the alias Titania for her fairy-like grace and agility, as well as being a prominent female leader of the Fairytail guild
  • In Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, Titania is the Sidhe Queen of the Seelie court and binary opposite of Mab (the Queen of Air and Darkness). In Butcher's novel, "Cold Days," Harry Dresden summons Titania with the line, "Lady of Light and Life, hear me. Thou who art Queen of the Ever-Green, Lady of Flowers."
  • In the Shin Megami Tensei series Titania appears a demon in the series.


  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. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Ethan%20Russell%20Erway&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank