Oberon is the King of the Fairies and husband to Titania. Because he acts in such contradictory ways throughout the play, Oberon’s intentions toward others seem more dependent on his whim than any sense of moral code. He treats the young Athenian lovers with care as he acts as a benevolent (though meddling) matchmaker, but he humiliates his wife by making Titania irresistibly attracted to a bumbling man with the head of a donkey. Oberon even tells Puck to ensure that the creature Titania falls for is especially grotesque or embarrassing.  He wants to manipulate Titania so she won’t mind giving up the changeling child, but he also wants to laugh at her humiliation in the process. Between his own wife, the changeling boy, and Bottom, it is clear Oberon has no qualms about toying with others to serve his games.

When Oberon sees Helena spurned in the forest, however, he seems distressed by Helena’s predicament and wants to help. He tells Puck to make Demetrius fall in love with Helena, and when Puck gives the potion to Lysander by accident, Oberon is not amused by the confusion as Puck is. However, even in his supposedly good intentions, Oberon cares more about his desires than the free will of the people he controls. At the end of the play, he sorts Puck’s mischief out by making sure everyone is in love with the “correct” person, but Oberon’s resolution still leaves Demetrius under a love spell indefinitely.