To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this book offers fresh and exciting insights into the ever-popular works of the world’s greatest playwright. It specifically highlights Shakespeare’s use of the archetypal language of astrological symbolism in both obvious and subtle ways. Such references would have been commonly known in Shakespeare’s time, but their deeper significance is lost to modern-day playgoers and readers.
The first half of the book describes the Elizabethan worldview and how the seven known planets were considered an integral part of the cosmos and instrumental in shaping human character. The second half of the book examines six of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays in the light of astrological symbolism, showing how they are entirely keyed to a specific zodiacal sign and its associated (or ruling) planet. The chosen plays are A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, The Tempest, and King Lear. Each chapter incorporates information and examples from astrological tradition, classical and Renaissance philosophy, Greek and Roman mythology, esoteric wisdom, modern psychology (especially that of C. G. Jung), and great literature.
Thoroughly researched and well-illustrated, this book illuminates the plays from a fresh perspective that will deepen and profoundly transform how we understand them.