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The Power Of Magic In A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1893 words - 8 pages

In William Shakespeare’s book, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, magic is a powerful and useful tool for the characters that have the capability to use it. Some of the characters abuse the power of magic, while others are more responsible in how they use it. Oberon is one the characters that abuses the power of magic. Oberon’s magic has an immense impact on the plot of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. More specifically, Oberon’s magic affects his own life, the lives of other characters, and all the characters in the story experience his magic differently. We will see that even the person who has power to use the magic can become surprised by it. Magic, the ultimate supernatural power, is often unpredictable and inexplicable.
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the King of the Fairies is a powerful man named Oberon. Oberon is married to Titania, Queen of the Fairies, who received an Indian boy from her dear friend who passed away. Oberon desperately wants the Indian boy to be one of his followers, but the boy is one of Titania followers and she will not give him up. This is when Oberon decides to use magic, in an attempt to win the Indian boy. Oberon uses the magic of a flower, to make his wife, Titania fall in love with the next creature she sees. Oberon says, “Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once: / The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid / Will make or man or woman madly dote / Upon the next live creature that it sees” (2.1.175-178). Oberon then black mails Titania and tells her that she will love the donkey forever unless she gives over the Indian boy. Although many would consider this bad, Oberon uses his magic because he can and he feels he needs to.
Magic in this book is very powerful because it cannot be used by everyone, as the fairies only hold the power. From Oberon’s view using the potion on Titania, is the only way he believes he can win the young boy. Oberon feels entitled and see no problem with the way he exercises his magic powers. After all he is the fairy king, and what is the point of having the power of magic and never using it. Magic is the main solution to Oberon’s predicament, therefore, he tries to fix everything with his magic powers. In a similar situation, Oberon stumbles upon the Athenian lovers and realizes their dilemma, so once again he feels power hungry and decides to use the magic to fix one of lovers. Perhaps he feels like he wants to use the power of magic for good to resolve the four lover’s problems. He feels the need to do this because in his mind he knows the act he hopes to accomplish against Titania is wrong and corrupt. Oberon and this act implicitly make fun of the humans and their ability to love or simply work things out. Oberon uses the magic although, he himself cannot fully explain it.
Magic can be unpredictable and irrational, but Oberon doesn’t believe that might be a factor in the outcome. The primary person who uses magic is actually his fairy servant Puck, but...

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