William Blake painting of fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream


This dreamlike watercolour by the poet and painter William Blake depicts Oberon, Titania and Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a train of dancing fairies in a woodland setting. The fairies dance in a ring, evocative of the traditional English folk dances associated with midsummer and May Day festivities.

Full title:
Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing
c. 1786
Painting / Image
William Blake
Usage terms

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing, c. 1789, William Blake (1757 - 1827). © Tate, London 2016

Held by

Related articles

Setting Shakespeare's music – and the music of Shakespeare settings

Article by:
Oliver Soden
Comedies, Global Shakespeare, Magic, illusion and the supernatural

Oliver Soden explores the challenges of creating operas based on Shakespeare’s plays.

Fairies re-fashioned in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Article by:
Farah Karim-Cooper
Comedies, Magic, illusion and the supernatural

Farah Karim-Cooper shows how Shakespeare combined classical and courtly traditions with medieval folk lore to create the benevolent fairies and changeling child of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Shakespeare’s festive comedy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night

Article by:
Francois Laroque

Both A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night take their names from seasonal celebrations. Francois Laroque considers the cultural and theatrical context for Shakespeare's festive comedies, and their exploration of merrymaking, disguise and the natural world.

Related collection items

Related people

Related works

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Created by: William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens with Theseus, Duke of Athens, eagerly anticipating his marriage to Hippolyta, ...