So I’ve been going back and forth of A Midsummer Night’s Dream lately, as I think it will be the next play I introduce the kids to. There’s something about the ending that bothers me. Oberon’s angry with Titania because he wants the changeling boy. Titania clearly has a stronger claim on the child, what with the whole “his mother was one of my followers” thing. Oberon’s only claim seems to be “because I’m the king and I said so.” So he puts her under a magic spell, and then, while brainwashed, says “Give me the child”, which she does. Now that he’s got what he wants, he releases her from the spell and they all go off on their happy way. Umm….does that make him a nice guy? Are we supposed to like him for that? At what point does Titania say, “Wait a minute…I had a changeling boy around here somewhere….where did he ….. Oberon!!!!!” As I ponder how to relate this story to the kids, I’m figuring on changing the ending so that Oberon feels bad for what he’s doing to Titania and decides to her keep the boy. (My 6yr old daughter, who apparently has too many friends of divorced parents already at her age, and who only knows that Oberon and Titania are fighting over a little human boy who came to live with the fairies, suggested “Maybe one week the boy can stay with the king, and then the next week he can stay with the queen, and then back to the king….”) I know that some people put Dream up there in the ranks with Hamlet as one of Shakespeare’s best. I don’t have that level of experience with the play, and have always viewed it more as “The one the local school kids always put on because you can never have too many fairies.” So somebody enlighten me about the deep meaning that I’m missing.