Thaisa is revived by Cerimon, an Ephesian lord, and, believing her husband to be dead, becomes a votaress
in the temple of Diana.
It conjures up a mythical past in which the King of Fairies hails "from the farthest step of India" and the Queen of Fairies spends many a night gossiping with her votaress
along the Indian shore (2.
3) For example, the Temple of Diana, where Thaisa serves as votaress
, may have been associated with fertility but may also have figured a Church of England backsliding toward Catholic idolatry.
In the scene at hand, Oberon distinguishes the Indian votaress
from an "imperial vot'ress" (2.
Okuni is believed to have been a votaress
of the Great Shrine of Izumo in the west of Japan.
At this point, readers might object that Titania's fervent devotion to the memory of the Indian votaress
and to her child, the Indian Boy, hardly squares with Mary Queen of Scots' opposition to Elizabeth's rule, her execution, and Elizabeth's and James's sometimes testy relationship.