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Character Role Analysis

Changeling to Bottom

As we know, Oberon uses his magic love potion to cause Titania to fall in love with Bottom. Titania becomes so enamored of Bottom that she forgets all about her foster child (a.k.a. the changeling) and gives the little boy over to Oberon. In a way, Bottom becomes a kind of substitute for the little boy. (We know this is kind of creepy given that Titania and Bottom's relationship is mostly romantic in nature, but bear with us for a minute.) Before Bottom came along, Titania once lavished all of her love and affection on the changeling boy, "Crown[ing] him with flowers and [making] him all her joy" (2.1.27-28). Once Bottom is substituted for Titania's foster son, the Fairy Queen spends all her time doting on him and ordering her fairies to make him comfortable. In other words, Titania has got some serious maternal instincts and she's looking for someone to nurture. She also ends up infantilizing Bottom by treating him like a baby.