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date: 19 July 2019


Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable
Susie Dent


King of the Fairies and the husband of titania. Shakespeare introduced both of them in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595). The name is perhaps connected with alberich, the king of the elves.

Oberon first appeared in the 13th-century French romance, Huon de Bordeaux, in which he is the son of Julius caesar and morgan le fay. He was only 3ft (90cm) high, but had an angelic face, and was the lord and king of Mommur. At his birth, the fairies bestowed their gifts: one was insight into men’s thoughts, and another was the power of transporting himself to any place instantaneously. In the fullness of time, legions of angels conveyed his soul to Paradise.