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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

3) Why does Oberon order Puck to fetch the magic flower?

Oberon orders Puck to fetch the magic flower to get back at Titania. Oberon and Titania are estranged from one another for a couple of reasons. First, the fairy king and queen are both jealous of each other’s attraction to their counterparts in the human realm. Just as Oberon is attracted to Hippolyta, so Titania is attracted to Theseus, and in Act II the couple confronts each other with their jealous suspicions. But Oberon and Titania are also estranged due to a dispute about a human Indian child who was stolen by one of Titania’s worshippers and replaced with a fairy changeling. This Indian child has been left in Titania’s care, and she refuses Oberon when he asks to have the child as his “henchman.” Titania’s refusal is the last straw for Oberon, who in his anger makes the following pledge: “Thou shalt not from this grove / Till I torment thee for this injury” (II.i.). After making this vow Oberon turns to Puck and instructs him to fetch a magic flower whose juice “Will make or man or woman madly dote / Upon the next live creature that it sees” (II.i.).