Pitiful Parenting: Robin Goodfellow's Op-Ed


Pitiful Parenting: Robin Goodfellow's Op-Ed




Pitiful Parenting in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
An Op-Ed by Robin Goodfellow, Resident Sprite

I, Robin Goodfellow, can put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that my knowledge of what happens in this city is expansive. I have been privy to several situations over the past few days which are cause for concern.
Every family has its ups and downs. Athens, however, appears more often than not to be a battlefield for poor parent and child relationships. I believe that it is important for us to take a step back and reevaluate the situations in which we find ourselves.
In order to address the problem as a whole, we shall start with the circumstances closest to me.
Titania, Queen of the Fairies, recently brought a changeling back home to the forest with her. An Indian boy of a young age, he seems entirely harmless. However, this is not entirely so. Without even trying, this little boy, in some fashion, has managed to bring something worse than the usual mischief to our forest – a great deal of strife. And such a place is not an ideal environment for a child to grow up in.
How does such grief come from one insignificant child, you ask?
Titania dotes upon this child endlessly. She claims that the child’s mother was a votress of her order but she, being mortal, did die. Thus, the boy was left on his own and, for the mother’s sake, the faerie doth rear up the boy. And, for her sake, she will not part with him.
Oberon, naturally, was not privy to her decision to rear up the boy and, subsequently, takes issue with the presence of the boy. Jealous Oberon would have the child for his own uses, but she perforce withholds the lovèd boy, crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy. We, Oberon and I, are of the opinion that she stole this child away in the dead of night. How she came by this child, however, is not so important as the fact that the child is devoted more of her attention than her husband is – a fact which vexes him to no end.
Because of these bitter feelings, the child is embroiled in a toxic domestic situation. The King and Queen of the Fairies have been using this poor changeling as a symbol of their power struggle. Oberon wishes to train the boy to attend to him and his many needs (— a role which is more than satisfactorily fulfilled by me, in my oh-so-humble opinion). Titania, however, will not hear of such a thing. And so they continue to pull the child between them, using the changeling as a representation of their frustration with each other.
Therefore, I think the lesson to be learned here is to refrain from adopting a child without first consulting with your spouse. As we all know that changeling is not in a healthy environment because of the strife now between the couple.
Naturally, though, this is not the only parenting issue in the area currently.
Beyond this, there is the matter of what is happening among the more human factions of our fair city. Egeus has recently forbade his daughter from wedding any suitor who is not of his choosing. A rather brash decision which resulted in her eloping.
Everywhere I turn, there is yet another disagreement between parent and child turned awry. Is there so little value placed upon the relationship between a parent and their child today? Even I, a sprite with no parents of my own, can see the importance of such things as steady guidance and nurturing environments.
Alas, it seems as though we shall see none of that in our city or in our forest between the actions of both the humans and the faeries. I say it is time we rise up and make our demands for healthy parent and child relationships known.
As a bit of an aside, all of this, of course, is eerily similar to a popular play of our time, a play which is being acted out this evening in the royal palace. A troupe of actors will take the stage to perform a timely rendition of Pyramus and Thisbe. So, if this editorial has not indeed tired you of the drama in the relationship between a parent and a child, you might attend the event tonight. And, as you watch the players fumble their way through each scene, ruminate on what would have happened to the two depicted lovers had their parents been more mindful of their methods.


Katelyn Brady



Katelyn Brady, “Pitiful Parenting: Robin Goodfellow's Op-Ed,” Shakespearean Journeys, accessed July 22, 2024, https://shakespeareanjourneys.emerson.build/items/show/48.