Play, Death, and Heroism in Shakespeare

By Kirby Farrell | Go to book overview

Appendix

Dr Forman's Dream as Return to Paradise

What follows is an example of cultural fantasy from the I590s that unconsciously construes heroism in the context of edenic themes, and illustrates how heroic forms may refashion orthodox authority to serve immediate historical needs. In 1597 the astrologer, physician, and avid playgoer Simon Forman recorded in his diary a dream about the aging Queen Elizabeth:

I dreamt I was with the Queen, and that she was a little elderly woman in a coarse white petticoat all unready; and she and I walked up and down through lanes and closes, talking and reasoning of many matters. At last we came over a great close where were many people, and there were two men at hard words. One of them was a weaver, a tall man with a reddish beard, distract of his wits. She talked to him and he spoke very merrily unto her, and at last did take her and kiss her. So I took her by the arm and put her away; and told her the fellow was frantic. And so we went from him and I led her by the arm still, and then we went through a dirty lane. She had a long, white smock, very clean and fair, and it trailed in the dust and her coat behind. I took her coat and did carry it up a good way, and then it hung too low before. I told her she should do me a favour to let me wait on her, and she said I should. Then said I, "I mean to wait upon you and not under you, that I might make this belly a little bigger to carry up this smock and coats out of the dirt." And so we talked merrily and then she began to lean upon me, when we were past the dirt and to be very familiar with me, and methought she began to love me. And when we were alone, out of sight, methought she would have kissed me. 1

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Play, Death, and Heroism in Shakespeare
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Play, Death, and Heroism in Shakespeare *
  • Contents *
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part One *
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 3
  • Chapter 2 - Play-Death, Self-Effacement, and Autonomy 13
  • Chapter 3 - Play, Death, and Apotheosis 36
  • Chapter 4 - Heroism and Hero Worship 56
  • Chapter 5 - The Hero and the Tomb 74
  • Chapter 6 - The Topography of Death and Heroism 90
  • Part Two *
  • Chapter 7 - Love, Death, and the Hunt in Venus and Adonis 117
  • Chapter 8 - Love, Death, and Patriarchy in Romeo and Juliet 131
  • Chapter 9 - Prophecy and Heroic Destiny in the Histories 148
  • Chapter 10 - Play-Death and Individuation 172
  • Chapter 11 - Epilogue 192
  • Appendix 201
  • Notes 207
  • Index 231
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