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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

In answer to a series of question I asked about Oberon and Titania's children (together and otherwise) and the events of Midsummer Night's Dream you mentioned "the pedophile theory" and said, "(platonic or otherwise) [it] still may fit the play best. Haven't worked out whether it applies to the Garg Universe." I must admit to ignorance, what theory?

Strangely enough I never really enjoyed reading Midsummer. Usually I like reading Shakespeare as much as watching, but I just couldn't get into it when last I tried. As a result I can't stand by my inability if seeing anything fitting that description in the play. In seeing the play the boy barely did anything but be handed around and look cute, but performances are already interpretations with choices. Are you saying there is a theory that Oberon wanted the kid for reasons other than being annoyed Titania was ignoring him, or that Titania was interested in the kid in ways other than adopting a dead friend's (or was it worshiper?- I don't remember well enough) child. I don't remember having that sort of theory come up outside of Hamlet. {In Hamlet I can see that there might be elements, but usually find it overplayed. Then again, I am a prude and often wear rose tinted glasses.}

I had also commented on Oberon's amusement at discovering Fox's existence. I would have expected him to be jealous, and wondered if he was exhibiting some maturity in recognition of his own track record. You said that Oberon wouldn't have been jealous because he was divorced from Titania at the time. Since when has Oberon been strictly logical or mature? Until that moment I wouldn't have put it past him to begrudge the fact that the woman he divorced had remarried and had a child with someone else despite any children he had hanging about. When we first meet Oberon, the way he responded to Titania's offer of remarriage seemed to me as if he had been quite anxious for that to happen. It almost seemed to me he had offered before and been turned down. I don't mean that he went begging her, just that he had made gestures of reconciliation and she turned him down in no uncertain terms making clear she was his subject, not love. Mostly it signaled to me that the big blue jerk had some genuine feelings for Titania, and was emotionally invested in her being his wife again. Was my reading completely off? And why was Oberon so amused?

Greg responds...

Pedophilia in Hamlet? Never heard that one. Oedipus complexes I've heard about. Though personally, I think that's rubbish.

The pedophilia thing in Midsummers involves Oberon's potential interest in the changeling. I'm not advocating that theory, though it's easily present should a director chose to play things that way.

Meanwhile, I think Oberon does love Titania. So you weren't off there. But I think he was genuinely amused. I just don't think that Oberon and Titania share the same mores that the rest of us have been socialized with. Besides, I liked shocking you with the unexpected response that still feels right.

Response recorded on August 21, 2000