Sunday, January 29, 2012
How popular was Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, since the days that Shakespeare created the character, based on one of his favourite people in real life, Queen Elizabeth the First! The play A Midsummer' Night's Dream was still performed in garden parties in those golden summer days of the Edwardian era. How the more fortunate country children enjoyed to dress in costume, the most beautiful older girl always playing Titania. She was able to walk softly over leaves and grass, always with her Train of many small children in costume!
Titania: "Come now, a roundel and a fairy song;
Then for the third part of a minute, hence;
Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds;
Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings,
To make my small elves coats;
And some keep back the clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and wonders
At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;.
Then to your offices, and let me rest.
This is of course followed by high voiced Edwardian/Victorian style singing until Titania sends them off and orders one to stand sentinel. What fun that play must have been, and how little the Edwardian children in those lovely lazy days expected World War I that was to follow within a couple of years to shatter their dream!
This painting shows my own interpretation of Titania!