I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight:
And with the juice of this I’ll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
(Gives him some juice) Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove;
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes,
But do it when the next thing he espies
May be the lady. Thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care, that he may prove
More fond on her than she upon her love;
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Look at the language and detail that Oberon uses to describe the place where Titania sleeps. Is the picture a positive or a negative one? What does this suggest about his feelings towards Titania?
Why do you think Oberon decides to ‘streak her eyes’ with the juice of the flower? How does he feel about the plan and why do you think that?
Showing a lack of respect.
Compare the way in which Oberon talks about his two plans. He plans to ‘streak’ Titania’s eyes, but ‘anoint’ Demetrius’. What does this tell us about Oberon’s opinion of Demetrius, and of Helena? Why has he decided to help Helena and what does this tell us about his character?
Do it carefully so he loves her more than she loves him.
Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.
(Text edited for rehearsals by Erica Whyman)