A Midsummer Night's Dream Theseus And Oberon Comparison

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In a story with love potions, jealousy, and an Indian boy all serving a purpose to a love affair, it is inevitable for chaos to arise without a leader. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, leaders Theseus and Oberon pose many differences as they try to prevent disorder within the mortal and fairy land. While counting down the days until he wedding with Hippolyta, Theseus faces a challenge when forced to give a nobleman’s daughter, Hermia, an ultimatum to which she finds unfair and runs away. Soon after, Hermia finds herself vulnerable to the power of Oberon, who is quarrelling with his wife, Titania, over an Indian boy. In the end, whether it was a change in heart or by magical being, Theseus allows Hermia to marry the man she chooses,…show more content…
Theseus exclaims,“Hippolyta, I wooed thee with thy sword, and won thy love, doing thy injury,” (1.1.16). He claims that he captivated his wife-to-be by fighting for her love and enduring injuries. By doing this, Theseus proves himself worthy enough of Hippolyta’s love which allows him to marry her. Conversely, Oberon’s hostile remarks towards his wife, Titania, further illustrate the difference between the two. Upon seeing his wife, Oberon calls her a,“rash wanton,” which translates to a hasty willful creature (2.1.63). Oberon belittles Titania with words and actions in an attempt to gain not only the upper hand, but the Indian boy. It presents his capability to set aside emotion in order to get his way. When Titania refuses to hand over the Indian boy, Oberon becomes furious and plots his revenge by putting love potion on her eye (2.1.179-183). Oberon’s motive proves his willingness to perform any action for his benefit, even if it takes away from his wife. His reaction further emphasizes his feelings for his wife and the diversification to Theseus’s. Theseus treats Hippolyta as if his entire world revolved around her;whereas, Oberon treats Titania as though she is unimportant to him and…show more content…
Theseus is willing to change his mind his previous offer to Hermia to keep order and peace. He overbears the Athenian’s wishes for Hermia, allowing her to marry the man she pleases (4.1.182-184). Theseus’s ability to understand Hermia’s wishes shows his rational thinking. If Theseus was stern about his ultimatum, everything would change. Conversely, Oberon makes decisions with unpredictable outcomes and watches as they play out before him. He watches Helena’s humiliation as she confesses her unwanted love for Demetrius,“thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love,” (2.1.246). Out of pity, Oberon tells Puck to put love potion on Demetrius’ eyes, forcing Demetrius to fall in love with Helena- if all goes as planned. He plans for Demetrius to beg for Helena’s love even though Demetrius is in love with Hermia (3.2.87-91). Once again, Oberon’s careless thinking manages to put him in a pickle, leading to more drama. He reverses the love potion on Lysander’s eyes, but Oberon still gets his way by keeping it on Demetrius’s. The peculiar ways Theseus and Oberon handle situations reflect on their leadership abilities. In sum, Shakespeare created leaders Theseus and Oberon to keep authority within the mortal and fairy world. The characteristics Theseus and Oberon pertaining to leadership differ. As a result, Theseus treats Hippolyta better than Oberon treats Titania, Theseus
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