Oberon

Oberon and Titania by Virgil Finlay (1935-36)

OBERON : KING OF SHADOWS

According to William Shakespeare, Oberon is King of the Fairies. Oberon and his consort Titania star in Shakespeare’s romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Oberon’s origins are mysterious. There’s debate as to how much is literary invention and how much is based on ancient folklore.

• Oberon may derive from Alberich.

• He may be the son of Morgan le Fay.

• He may derive from now-forgotten English folk traditions that were known in Shakespeare’s time.

Regardless of origin, Oberon is now an important spirit, beloved by many, especially because it’s rare to find a named male Fairy. He is a trickster and so is a little feared, too: no one really wants to be on the receiving end of practical jokes. Oberon guides those who have a vision and a mission. He is the patron of knights and paladins. A Midsummer Night’s Dream concludes with Oberon and Titania offering blessings of true love, fidelity, happiness, fertility, and protection.

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Auberon

CLASSIFICATION:

Fairy, Elf

ICONOGRAPHY:

Oberon is portrayed as a human-size Fairy or a tiny flower Fairy. Artists who have created his portrait include William Blake, Richard Dadd, Henry Fuseli, and Sir Joseph Noel Paton.

OFFERINGS:

Oberon would presumably be pleased to receive Bell’s Oberon wheat ale; alternatively give him flowers, candles, and other potable spirits.

SEE ALSO:

SOURCE:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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