Could removing a child as a character in a play be irrelevant to its outcome? If a cast member has no distinct role and is always referred to in third person, what kind of importance could one have in a play? In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the persona of the Indian boy could have been excluded. If the boy were not in the play, then Oberon and Titania would still be able to rekindle their relationship. Since Oberon communicates no rationale as to why he wants the boy, his fight to obtain the child is unclear. Oberon and Titania would still have jealousy within their relationship to propel the action of the play; therefore, the Indian boy’s role is insignificant.
Regardless of whether the Indian boy was present in the play or not, Oberon and Titania would still be bickering over their relationship. In A Midsummer Night 's Dream (Easy Reading Old World Literature: Level 3), Titania vouches, “Since spring you have quarreled with me every time we have met – on hill, or dale, in the fields, and in the woods. When they hear your angry voice, my fairies and elves run and hide. They cannot finish their circle-dances to the wind’s song. Then the whole earth runs into trouble!” ((Easy Reading, 21). Hence, without the custody battle present with the Indian boy, there would still be unrest amongst the fairies, and consequently, distress in the physical world of the humans. Thus, the exclusion of the boy would not change the play at all, and it could conclude the same way as Shakespeare intended.
Further evidence to support the irrelevance of the boy’s presence in the play can be found in Oberon’s sense of remorse for his actions involving Puck and his magic...
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...s typical in not bringing the boy on stage at all” (Sendak, et al., 27). Likewise, the Indian boy is referred to only in third person.
As mentioned earlier, the fact that Oberon and Titania are still able to rekindle their relationship and find peace within themselves, restoring the love they once shared, proves that the Indian boy had no effect on the outcome of their long-lasting marriage. Because of the boy’s ambiguous purpose to the play, the readers do not see value in his presence. Even Oberon, who is primarily in pursuit of the boy, communicates no rational as to why he wants the boy, and thus, his fight for the boy is not clearly indicated. Moreover, the jealousy that encompasses Oberon and Titania’s relationship is a powerful enough motive to propel the action of the play and serves as a catalyst to drive the play to its eventual conclusion.
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