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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Publication information: Book title: Play, Death, and Heroism in Shakespeare. Contributors: Kirby Farrell - Author. Publisher: University of North Carolina Press. Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC. Publication year: 1989. Page number: 201.
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