Scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing), William Blake, ca. 1825
This illustrates Titania's instruction to her
fairy train in the last scene of Shakespeare's
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies, are on the left. Puck, the perplexer
of mortals, faces us. The fairies Moth
and Peaseblossom are easily identifiable.
During the 1780s there was a growing
taste for Shakespeare illustrations. Blake
had formed a print-publishing partnership
in 1784. If the approximate dating of this
work is correct, it may represent an attempt
by Blake to break into this market.¹
¹ William Blake, 'Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing' c.1786. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2016, from http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-oberon-titania-and-puck-with-fairies-dancing-n02686