Queen Mab: Shakespeare might have taken the name from Queen Medb [anglicised as Queen Maev] in Irish folklore whose name is said to mean she who intoxicates, which would be appropriate to a fairy who brings pleasant dreams. The other aspect of intoxication is "mead-woman" which is thought to reflect her role as goddess to sovereignty. In ancient and medieval Ireland, the drinking of mead was a key part of a king's inauguration ceremony and in myth, a supernatural woman representing the sovereignty of the land chooses a king by offering him an alcoholic drink, thus bestowing sovereignty upon him. Medb is strong-willed, ambitious, cunning and promiscuous, and is an archetypal warrior queen, believed to be a manifestation of the sovereignty goddess.
by J. C. Leyendecker