A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Unlikely Couple: Bottom and Titania in Act 3 Scene 1 11th Grade

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the love juice is a liquid so potent that no being can resist its effects, not even the fairies, who wield a considerable amount of power over nature. This love juice can be seen as a device that Shakespeare uses as a way of representing the vagaries of romantic love, as it allows Shakespeare to freely manipulate the love interests of his characters to showcase how absurd love can be. This effect is achieved through the pairing of unlikely couples in the play, such as the pairing of Lysander with Helena, but these pairings pale in comparison to the jarring pairing of Titania and Bottom.

One of the techniques utilized by Shakespeare to present the coupling of these two characters as an oddity is through the usage of dramatic and situational irony. Even at the very beginning of the scene, the irony is painfully obvious to the audience because Titania’s description of Bottom as an ‘angel’ cannot possibly be further away from the truth. This is exceptionally effective given that it takes place immediately after the Mechanicals proclaim the transformed Bottom to be a monstrous creature, as the antithesis emphasizes how deluded Titania’s state of mind is. Bottom, unaware of the fairy queen’s presence,...

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