Throughout a long period of history, Queen Mab has appeared in a numerous selection of differing guises, names and manifestations.
She has been known as Mab, Mabh, Medb, (meev) Medhbh, Maeve (maive or mayv) and sometimes linked with the Morrigan, mainly through Celtic Mythology and Legend.
She is also associated with the Tuatha De Danaan, who were described as being ‘a godlike race’ that came into Erin from the northern islands of Greece around 4000 years ago.
The Warrior Queen Medb of Connaught appears in the Ulster Cycles which date from around 2000 years ago, and although these stories may tend to appear somewhat fanciful, it is also considered by many eminent scholars that the characters in the legends were in fact, real people.
The Tuatha De Danaan (the people of the god whose mother is Dana) were also recorded to possess great gifts of magic and druidism and after being defeated by the Milesians were forced to establish an underground kingdom known as Otherworld or Sidh’e, meaning Hollow Hills and became known as The Lords of the Sidh’e (pronounced ‘Shee’) and maybe it is from this that the stories of Faerie Folk originated. (Fairy being a derivative of fey, relating especially to fate)
The transcendant intellect of the Sidh’e later became known amongst Druids as the, “Web of the Wise or Web of Wyrd.”
Mab appears as the Queen of the Fairies, Titania in Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Titania stems from the Greek pre-Olympian god race of the Titans and is also associated with Diana the Moon Goddess.
It is also worthwhile to note that around the time Shakespeare wrote this play, Queen Elizabeth 1’s Court Poetry and Magic Syndicate (which included Francis Bacon and the enigmatic seer and occultist John Dee) was founded by Edward de Vere, the Lord Chancellor of England and Queen Elizabeth 1 herself was very much a part of this particular ‘underground stream of knowledge’, which is considered to have Rosicrucian origins and she underwent a mystical ceremony conducted in the depths of Windsor Forest to be crowned as Queen of the Greenwood.
Queen Mab known also in Celtic folklore as ‘Queen Wolf; whose name means, “mead,” is widely considered to relate to the Mother aspect of The Triple Goddess expressing love, protection, physical sexuality and fertility but also including the more darker sides such as fierceness, revenge and war against her enemies.
I consider that Percy Shelley’s epic political poem ‘Queen Mab’ (which he wrote when he was just eighteen !) which includes Mab’s lengthy and fierce tirades against the injustices and cruelties inflicted upon the masses by many of those in positions of power, is indeed a true reflection of her persona and attitude and I firmly tend to believe that she inspired him to write it.
If she didn’t inspire him, then for what reason did he choose her, to express these very anarchic sentiments ? – as she is also Queen of Poets…..