The Renaissance hermetic tradition in Shakespeare’s plays

Walls, M. (1986). The Renaissance hermetic tradition in Shakespeare’s plays. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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The plays of Shakespeare included in this thesis are:- As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, King Lear, Timon of Athens, Pericles, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. Some receive a much greater share of attention than others do. This is due to their relevance to the areas of the Renaissance Hermetic Tradition which are covered here. Renaissance interpretations which come through the work of Agrippa, Bruno, Picino, Pico and John Dee are included. The areas covered here are Numerology, with its Pythagorean and cabalistic roots and its renaissance interpretations. Orphic Music which is also derived in part from Pythagoras' influence. The New Eden with its Utopian links and the renaissance hankering for a return to the original golden age. I discuss Saturnian Melancholia, both mundane and inspired, and the insight this gives us to Hamlet and his supposed madness. Also included is Alchemy and its relevance to an understanding of Timon of Athens. The first chapter, which is Numerology lays a foundation on which the subsequent chapters rest, and leads up to the concept of the magus who was considered the master and manipulator of such esoteric powers.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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