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A DISSERTATION IN FINE ARTS Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Texas Tech University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


August, 2001

Copyright 2001, Katharine Bartol Parrault


This project has been the result of years of work and inquiry inspired, guided, and supported by many people. I am indebted first of all to my mother, Odile Bartol and particularly my father, Robert George Bartol, who gave me an unquenchable curiosity of the cosmos through his work in the Apollo space program. The Rev. Gene Powell Baker's insight into alchemy and the work of Carl Jung initiated my inquiry into these subjects. Dr. Jim Hatfield relentiessly nudged me towards the completion of this opus in encouraging me to pursue the Ph.D. in Fine Arts. Dr. Dan Russ and Kathy Russ and Susan and Ed Youngblood have bean constant sources of friendship, guidance and encouragement. Dr. David Alan Galloway and the wonderfully generous folks of Christ Church in Tyler, TX, continuously lent ma tremendous support in pursuit of this academic achievement, as have the Revs. Jo and Clifton Mann of St. Stephen's in Lubbock, TX. My sons Jake and Bart and Alicia and Jeff Thomas have bean ceaseless in their patience and encouragement, as have Diane Patterson, Sharon Atkinson, Gloria and Gary Duke, my colleagues Beth Wintour, Collin Smith, Jim Bush, Lisa Rosenstein, and Miranda Ni who sustained me through some of the most difficult portions of this process. I give my deepest thanks to Dr. Jonathan Marks and Tova Marks for their unflagging support, as well as their inspiration. Dr. Dean Wilcox, Dr. Seth Baumrin, Dr. Terry Lewis, Dr. Elizabeth Homan, and Dr. Ed Check have been more than responsible for helping me to find my own voice. Dr. Michael Stoune, Dr. Phoebe Lloyd, and Dr. John Stinespring have been instmmental in expanding my perspectives beyond my own discipline. Dr. David Williams has worked tirelessly to help me focus my vision for this

project, and along with Diana Moore, Polly Boersig and Dr. Elizabeth Homan and Dr. Louise Stinespring, has been a steady guide and sounding board throughout the writing process. Mary Cervantes has been patient and helpful in every way throughout my tenure at Texas Tech University. Many thanks to my muse Clarke Simmons for the gift of his joyful as well as sensible inspiration in the midst of many tribulations, along with his tireless support. It is my hope that this work will contribute to the continued integration of both reason and imagination in the arts and the resulting collaboration between disciplines, as well as a deeper understanding and fuller realization of what it means to be human. This work is dedicated, in memoriam, to my father, Robert George Bartol, whose love of the stars has been my inspiration, to my colleague Jia-Hua Chin, whose love for theatre will live forever, and to my friend and example, Teresa Sawyer, who has completed the opus magnum. D.O.M.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABSTRACT LIST OF FIGURES CHAPTERS I. INTRODUCTION Background Statement of the Problem Thesis Statement Justification Methodology Literature Review Summary of A Midsummer Night's Dream Notes n. SHAKESPEARE'S ASTRONOMY Overview of the Cosmology of Shakespeare's Era Cosmic Numerology Alchemical Number Symbolism Microcosm/Macrocosm The Seasons: Cycles of Transformation Sol et Luna The Astronomy of A Midsummer Night's Dream


vii ix

1 1 4 g 9 12 14 20 23 24 24 28 34 38 41 47 50


The Constellations of the Early Summer Sky Notes m. THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE PLAY: ARCHETYPES REVEALED Myth: The Fundamental Essence of the Archetype The Archetypal Mythology of the Play Theseus/Ophiuchus: Oberon/Poseidon Hippolyta/Virgo: Titania/Demeter The Changeling Boy: The Primordial Child Trickster: Puck/Hermes/Mercurius Bottom/Mercurius Animus/Anima The Role of Asclepius/Ophiuchus The Hunting Scene rV. ALCHEMY AND E^IVIDUATION: THE TRANSFORMING PROCESS OF THE PLAY Philosophical Alchemy The Coniunctio: The Alchemical Symbolism of Individuation Individuation through the Alchemy of the Play Nigredo: Courtly Love/Dionysian Rites of Passage Putrefactio Albedo Renovatio Notes

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110 110 113 115 118 129 131 139 144

The Constellations of the Early Summer Sky Notes m. THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE PLAY: ARCHETYPES REVEALED Myth: The Fundamental Essence of the Archetype The Archetypal Mythology of the Play Theseus/Ophiuchus: Oberon/Poseidon Hippolyta/Virgo: Titania/Demeter The Changeling Boy: The Primordial Child Trickster: Puck/Hermes/Mercurius Bottom/Mercurius Animus/Anima The Role of Asclepius/Ophiuchus The Hunting Scene rV. ALCHEMY AND INDIVIDUATION: THE TRANSFORMING PROCESS OF THE PLAY Philosophical Alchemy The Coniunctio: The Alchemical Symbolism of Individuation Individuation through the Alchemy of the Play Nigredo: Courtly Love/Dionysian Rites of Passage Putref actio Albedo Renovatio Notes

59 65 67 67 71 74 80 85 92 97 101 103 107

110 110 113 115 118 129 131 139 144



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A Midsummer Night's Dream is a complex blend of metaphors: multitudinous references to the moon, mythological figures ancient and Elizabethan, and alchemical symbolism. An understanding of Shakespeare's cosmology leads to an analysis of the play's astronomy, revealing mythological archetypes that correspond to the play's characters. The archetypal struggle which ensues among the characters is the process of the opus magnum of alchemythe coniunctioa physical as well as psychic process which embodies the transforming theme of the play's characters from singleness to marriage. Emerging from the collective unconscious, the alchemical symbolism of the coniunctio correlates directly to Jung's process of individuation and reveals not only an integrated view of the play, but also an equivalent, contemporary reading. While the moon operates significantly within the play as metaphor, the astronomy of the play manifests the actual stage of the moon during which the coniunctio occurs. The constellations of the late spring/early summer sky also reveal archetypes in the play which are grounded in medieval concepts of cosmic numerology and alchemical number symbolism, the microcosm/macrocosm, and the seasons that operate as cycles of transformation. The rites of courtly love correspond to the Dionysian rites of passage in the May Day festivities, and also operate as metaphors of metamorphosis within the play. Through these rites, the play's archetypes interact in the alchemical stages of the nigredo, putrefactio, albedo and renovatio that culminate in the reconciliation of opposites, or the coniunctio.


An alchemical, Jungian reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream offers innovative ways to interpret the play that may facilitate equivalent contemporary readings and performances of Shakespeare's Elizabethan work. As such, this work confirms Shakespeare's collaborative genius and poetic vision, in Ben Jonson's words, as "not of an age, but for all time."




A depiction of the Ptolemaic system, prior to Copernicus, with the earth at the center. A. CeWarius, Harmonica Macrocosmica, Amsterdam. 1660.



The Copemican system, with the sun at the center and the planets orbiting about it. A. Cellarius, Harmonica Macrocosmica, Amsterdam. 1660. 25 The music of the spheres: a diagram of the Ptolemaic cosmos giving "the intervals meant to correspond to the distances between the heavenly bodies and their various speeds." From an astronomical manuscript anthology, Salzburg. circa AD 820. According to Jung, "the 'squaring the circle' represents the 'archetype of wholeness.'" lamsthaXer, Viatoriumspagyricum. 1625. "The Mandala Fountain": the sun and moon are in opposition, and the dragon at the top, center of the figure represents the dualistic figure of Mercurius. Rosarium philosophorum. 1550.








The alchemical quatemity: "Through the circumlatory transformation of the elements and humors, the opposites are united." L. Thumeisser, Quinta Essentia. 1574. 38 Anatomical Man. Plate 14. Les Tres Riches Heures du due de Berry. Jean Longnon and Raymond Gazelles. Musee Condee, Chantilly, France. 1413-16. Homage to Apollinaire. Marc Chagall, 1911-12. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. May knight with flowers, versus a weapon, in hand. Frescoe from Notre Dame de Pritz, Laval, France. 11*-13* centuries. 44 44 44






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May knight, with falcon, and Gemini lovers. Bedford Book of Hours. 1425. Gemini lovers. Plate 14. Les Tres Riches Heures. 1413-16. May: the scene for May depicts the court making its way into the forest with hunting dogs, to engage in the rites of May. Plate 6. Les Tres Riches Heures. 1413-16.



August: the August scene shows the couples emerging from the forest with their dogs. Plate 9. Les Tres Riches Heures. 1413-16. 45 ix


The alchemical couple: note the bulls in the lower left hand comer, at the entrance of the labyrinth, or the work. G. van Vreeswyk, De Goude Leeuw, Amsterdam. 1676. The alchemical marriage: Sol and Luna. /?oranMmp/i//o^op/jora/n. 1550. "The Sun and its Shadow Complete the Work." M. Maier, Atalantafugiens, Oppenheim. 1618. The monthly phases of the moon, showing the moon's invisibility at the stage of the new moon. Reproduced by permission. 1999, Astronomy. Early summer constellations. 1999, A^rrattomy.

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The mythic constellations: Draco; the Hunting Dogs; Virgo; Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer (with Serpens cauda and Serpens caput); and the Summer Triangle. From the Glow-in-the-Dark Night Skv Book by Clinton Hatchett, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi. Illustrations copyright 1988 by Stephen Marchesi. Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc. 60 Floor plan of A Midsummer Night's Dream constellations. 1996, Katherine Perrault. 61 62 62 75 75 76


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Draco-mythic constellation. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House. Constellation Draco. 1999, A^rronom}'. The masculine plane-mythic constellations. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House. Constellation, Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. 1999, Astronomy. Serpens cauda/caput in relationship to so\arl\unar conjunctions. M. Maier, Septimana Philosophica Frankfurt. 1616. Serpens caMcia/capMr and Ophiuchus along the ecliptic. 1999, Astronomy. Summer Triangle/Lyra. Mythic constellations. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House. Summer Triangle/Lyra. 1999, Astronomy. Feminine plane-mythic constellations. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House.

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79 79

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Constellations Virgo and Hunting Dogs. 1999, A^rro/^omy. Figure of the feminine archetype, Luna, represented in the shape of the crescent. Codex Urbanus Latinus 899. 15* century. Illustration of the pagan goddesses as emanations of the lunar powers. A. Kircher. Obeliscus Pamphilius, Rome. 1650. SatyricPuck. Woodcut from The Mad Pranks and Merry Jests of Robin Goodfellow. London. 1628. Winged Hermes as Mercurius: he is represented by Asclepius's, (Ophiuchus's) serpent staff (caducous) and horns of plenty, which "symbolize the richness of his gifts." Cartari, L'imagini de i dei. 1585. "The unfettered opposites in chaos. 'Chaos' is one of the names for the prima materia." MaxoWes, Tableaux du temple des muses. 1655. Mythic Hunting Dogs. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House. Constellation: Cane5 Venarid, the Hunting Dogs. 1999, Astronomy. Relationship of adept and soror to projected animus and anima, applied to the relationships in Midsummer. Courtly love: the hunt. Frescoe of the monthsdei mesi; Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trento, Italy. 15* century. Su concessione del Castello del Buonconsigho. Monumenti e collezioni provincial!. Trento. Called the "flower of wisdom," the philosophical fmits are represented by the white lunar rose (left), the red solar rose (right) and the mysterious blue rose (center). H. Reussner, Paniiora, Basle. 1582.

81 81








98 108 108

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Lovers with a Half-Moon. While the title suggests the moon is half-full, it is obviously a crescent, or new moon, under which the lovers frolic. Marc Chagall, 1926-7. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. 125 The Dream. Chagall's painting of the symbolic coniunctio between Bottom and Titania. Marc Chagall, 1927. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ AD AGP, Paris. Dedicated to My Fiancee. Marc Chagall, 1911. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.







"The Primeval Duality." The opposition of Dionysus to Apollo in the alchemical opus. Robert Fludd, Philosophia Moysaica, Gouda. 1638. The return to Sol, consciousness, represented by the sun god, Apollo, and the lion. De Sphaera, Italian Manuscript. 15* century. The Liberation. In the context of the cosmic mandala, or influence of the macrocosm on the microcosm, the lovers return from the wood, to the city to wed. Marc Chagall, 1947-52. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. The alchemical king and queen, Sol et Luna. Rosarium philosophorum. 1550. The mercurial serpent stirring up the "hermaphroditic matter," or prima materia oi^'SunneandMoone.'' Ripley Scroll. 1588. The union of opposites. Rosarium philosophorum. 1550. Midsummer Night's Dream. Acccording to Werner Haftmann, Chagall was "very fond of it [A Midsummer Night's Dream] and read it again and again" Male aspect of the prima materia. "Miscellanea d'alchimia," Codex Ashbumham. 14* century. Female aspect of the prima materia. "Miscellanea d'alchimia," Codex Ashbumham. 14* century. The Wedding Candles. Chagall's painting is a wonderful illustration of the alchemical themes in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Marc Chagall, 1945, 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.





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Background Gary Jay Williams states, "We do not go to definitive theatres, we go to the theatres of our times" (Williams 259). In Our Moonlight Revels. Williams addresses the ongoing debate of how we interpret classical plays in contemporary production. Williams illuminates this interpretive debate as he chronicles the production history of A Midsummer Night's Dream, (hereafter referred to as Midsummer) from Shakespeare's day to the present. He contends that in each era "theatre artists have created representations of their culture" (259), what Jan Kott would refer to as making Shakespeare "our contemporary." However, many of these productions were laced with culturally dominant ideologies that may have had little or no origin within the text. This brings us to the heart of the interpretive debate: Shakespeare's text. Williams shows through the production history of the play that each era will rewrite Shakespeare's works to some degree in its own cultural image. As our society becomes more global and multi-culturalism becomes more prevalent, it seems that this revisionist trend will continue. Shakespeare was a writer of his own popular culture, and it follows that the genius of his work will continue to resonate with popular treatments of his plays. However, Misha Berson contends that a current popular interpretation of Shakespeare's literature for contemporary dramatic production often "lies so heavily on the boards" due not so much to the sometimes unapproachable genius of his texts, as to the director's use of them (Berson 36). Berson maintains that this occurs as directors 1

handle Shakespeare's plays "much too reverentlyor far too cavalierly [. . .] breaking the Shakespeare rules of previous generations" (37) for the sake of novelty and relevance, often with disregard for textual integrity and unity (either literal, thematic, or both): "There is a striking difference between a beautifully integrated concept production and what director Jonathan Miller calls 'theatre schlepping'that is, loading a play onto a tmck and dumping it into another time and geographic zone, whether it really belongs there or not" (37). In The Theatre and Its Double, Antonin Artaud's call for liberation from "masterpieces reserved for a self-styled elite and not understood by the general public" has stood in opposition to the reverence of the text's primacy in performance (Artaud 74). His radical cry to substitute culture (which works to bond the human community) for elitist art (which divides humanity) influenced many of the experimental Shakespearean productions of the twentieth century, including Peter Brook's 1970 iconoclastic production of Midsummer. Artaud contends that the great works of Western literature are "fixed" in the past and no longer respond to the needs of modem man. He raises the idea that Shakespeare's works are performed merely because they are perceived as "masterpieces," as ''art for art's sake": their ability to be culturally vibrant and resonant to us is lost by virtue of the idolatry of the sacredness of the text. While Artaud allows that the masterpieces speak grandly, he holds that they do not speak in the voice of our time. To remedy this problem in staging classical plays for the theatre, Artaud calls for us to look beneath the text for the transcendent, "actual poetry" which is "without form and without text," a "superior idea of poetry and poetry-through-theater which underlies the Myths told by the great ancient tragedians" (78, 80). 2

In response to what he considers Artaud's challenge to "free the energies of the great classical plays," Robert Brustein responds by questioning, "How do we build a bridge to the past without turning into prisoners of culture and slaves to masterpieces?" (Brustein 19-20). Brustein's position upholds the formalist tradition of maintaining the unity of the text as well as the integrity of the author's voice. However, he does not ignore the power of the audience, as both receptor and site of culture, in contributing to the interpretation of the private work (the literature) for public display (the dramatic production). Brustein objects to "the mutilation of the classics, either through updating, bowdlerizing, or adapting them to the musical stage" and the indiscriminate and irresponsible "jollying up" of Shakespeare's plays by merely "updating" the physical environment of the text with "no discernible reason other than the desire for novelty" (26). However, Brustein does affirm modem interpretations of Shakespeare which are based on "determining a tme modem equivalent for the action, [.. .] plot, theme, or characters" stemming from a thorough reading and respect for the text (26, 27). He states: "When something in the play [text] itself stimulates the director to pursue a radical new line of inquiry, then even the most radical transformations can be justified" (33). In The Open Door, Peter Brook states that Shakespeare "wrote a chain of words that have in them the possibility of giving birth to forms that are constantly renewed. There is no limit to the virtual forms that are present in a great text" (63). While the variety of interpretive forms may be infinite when considering Shakespeare's masterpieces, the formalist contribution to interpretation maintains that such forms may be inherent in the text, and the conception of these forms for the stage should serve to

unify the elements of the play (in the context of equivalency-the plot, theme, characters, action), critically as well as performatively (Thomas xvii-xxi).

Statement of the Problem In the context of this interpretive debate, I wish to offer an equivalent, original perspective for staging Midsummer which reveals the unity inherent in the text and results in the integration of the play's four worids: the fairy realm, the royalty of Athens, the rustic citizenry, and the courting lovers. While many critics agree that "Shakespeare certainly brings the four separate worlds into a final harmony" (Warren 60), the practical problem exists of finding a thread thematically linking the play's four worlds through one unifying concept in staging the play for production. In criticism of many contemporary productions of IVlidsummer, Robert Bmstein has found their "details of interpretation vivid but absent any unifying metaphor"^ (Williams 239, 319). Due largely to the diversity of its elements, ISLidsummer underwent immense fragmentation to suit the cultural taste of its audience during the Restoration. A primary example of this was Henry Purcell's highly cut and altered revision of the play into the opera. The Fairy Queen, which established conventions for performance of the play "that persisted, with variations, into the twentieth century" (Foakes 13). In 1840, however, Madame Lucia Vestris's Covent Garden production of Midsummer restored most of Shakespeare's text in an attempt to present the play "as an organic and integrated whole," although it was still treated more like an "opera with ballet" (13-4). In 1914, Hariey Granville-Barker restored the text of Midsummer in full, abandoning the operatic scenic encumbrances and balletic tradition as well as Mendelssohn's Romantic music that had 4

been inextricably linked with the play in the nineteenth-century. Still, following Granville-Barker's lead, twentieth-century theatrical experimentations continued to subject the play to non-conventional interpretations, justified by refuting what Peter Brook calls "the great misunderstanding about Shakespeare. Many years ago it used to be claimed that one must perform the play as Shakespeare wrote it. Today the absurdity of this is more or less recognised: nobody knows what scenic form he had in mind" (63). Brook's Royal Shakespeare Company production of Midsummer in 1970 was one landmark production that boldly broke from the play's Romantic performance conventions, opening Shakespeare's Elizabethan fairy tale up to modem interpretation. Brook sought "ways of making the past direcfly present and accessible, and thus of annihilating the shadow of historical distance" (Kott 7). In response to Artaud's challenge to look beneath the text, Brook delved beneath previous literal interpretations of the play to explore the psyche of Shakespeare's lovers, signaling a return to primal urges and rituals in an urgent exploration of the text's hidden meaning. Simon Tmssler, in the introduction to The Making of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," further discusses Artaud's, Grotowski's, and Kott's influence on Brook and his directorial vision. He states that Brook's conceptualization of the play represented a search "to find the new forms, and through the new forms, the new architecture, and through the new architecture, the new patterns and the new rituals of the age that is swirling around us" (xxi). While it may be necessary to break with established staging conventions in seeking new forms to contain fresh stagings of Shakespeare's works, it seems important to access not only the contemporary culture in which the play will be produced, but also 5

the historical/cultural constructs that undergird the action in his plays. If Shakespeare was indeed "a product of his own time, and a natural genius with the capacity to transcend its limits and confines" (Parsons 12), it may be possible that the study and research of Shakespeare's culture, with the goal of accessing our own, can also engender new conceptions of the play. While we cannot precisely recreate Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, or even much of Shakespeare's life, there is a wealth of information about the history, culture, and literature of the period which gives us insight into Shakespeare's cultural background that is inevitably embedded in his texts. If we neglect to read the Elizabethan worldview presented therein, or dismiss it as irrelevant, we may also overtook cmcial keys for finding, as Bmstein puts it, "equivalent" concepts for contemporary productions. It seems that we still perform Shakespeare's Elizabethan plays because of the multiple readings and interpretations made possible by virtue of Shakespeare's eclectic perspective on the human condition. While some of Shakespeare's plays may seem to have simple overriding themes, many of his plays are compendiums of a complex worldview, constructed in the cmcible of years of collaboration with fellow actors. Tom Matheson states in Shakespeare in Performance that during the development of his plays Shakespeare did make "changes amounting to actual revision during their performance history on stage, [. ..] reinforcing the view that for Shakespeare, performance of his plays always took priority over print" (Parsons 9). Shakespeare's plays, written as early as 1592, were fluid vehicles of cultural constmctionrehearsed, refined, and played . . . and rehearsed, refined, and re-played over the course of many years until they were officially published in 1623 as the First Folio. In its preface, according to Matheson, Heminge and 6

Condell "seem almost to overstate the accessibility and universality of the author's works in the Folio, offering them to the whole literate population, 'from the most able, to him that can but spell,' [. . .] and affirm the Bard's popular success by stating, 'these Playes have had their triall alreadie, and stood out all Appeales'-on the stage" (11). Thus molded through the collaborative process of writing, rehearsal, and revision, as well as the audience's response to performance, Shakespeare's plays reverberated to the pulse of his erareflecting its literature, art, culture, science, economy, and politics. Alan Scott Weber states that this post-modem view of the Shakespearean text as a communal endeavour of author, compositor, actor, audience, and reader also supports the view of Shakespeare's plays as a widely ranging repository (verging in extent on Saussure's langue, or complete fund of language) of social questions and problems, many of them bearing specifically on astronomy and astrology. (4) Shakespeare knew his world. He knew his audience. The world was his palette, and he painted adept portraits from it that not only pleased, but also moved his audiences. They knew and recognized Shakespeare's references to historical, literary, and astronomical sources. Though lacking a university education, Shakespeare appeared to be a prolific reader as well as writer, whose "metaphoric habit of thought made constant connections across widely different fields of knowledge" (Parsons 15). Shakespeare deftly used his understanding of human nature to enhance these connections and shape his texts, building immediate receptiveness and intuitive rapport with his audiences. He created inter-textual masterpieces which not only illuminated the discourse and customs of his day, but whose accounting of human experience also reverberates to the present in spite of their original context within Elizabethan culture.

With deep regard for the text. Brook's 1970 conception of Midsummer forged new ground in an ahistorical, non-conventional interpretation of Shakespeare's characters, highlighted against a timeless background of human passion and pathos. Brook's work affirms the reality of equivalency, of creating a contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare's play that speaks to its audience by virtue of, not in spite of, the author's voice in the text. However, in addition to the text, discovering equivalencies from the author's culture embedded metaphorically in the text also works to illuminate new, relevant conceptions of Shakespeare's plays. Studying Shakespeare's cultural heritage alongside the text of Midsummer with an eye towards contemporary performance offers fresh opportunities to "annihilate the shadow of historical distance" (Kott 7) of Midsummer in production. The dream I wish to explore in the ensuing pages is a previously unexamined view of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which Shakespeare metaphorically integrates the four worlds of the play through the use of the medieval symbolism of alchemy. Alchemical symbolism translates direcfly to Jung's process of individuation and reveals an equivalent, contemporary view of the play.

Thesis Statement The diverse metaphors of A Midsummer Night's Dream may be integrated through an analysis of the play's astronomy that leads to the recognition of mythological archetypes whose symbolic interaction reveals the philosophical process of medieval alchemy. This alchemical process embodies the play's major theme of transformation. Because Cari Jung appropriates alchemical symbolism in his psychoanalytic process, 8

there is a direct correlation between the reconciling of opposites in the transforming action of Midsummer and in the process of "individuation," the integration of the personahty^ (Psychologv and Alchemv 413-17) Jungian alchemical symbohsm may thus be used as a tool for analyzing the play's text. The correlation between medieval alchemy and Jungian psychology results in a reading of Midsummer that not only reveals an intrinsic unity in the play, but also builds a cultural bridge between Shakespeare's era and our own, affording new perspectives for staging an equivalent, contemporary conception of the play.

Justification In writing A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare drew his unique blend of poetic mythos from many sources: from the heroes and gods of Attica, to the fabula of Rome, to the fairy lore of Elizabethan England.^ Co-mingled in the alchemical crucible of Shakespeare's Midsummer, these myths delineate archetypes and patterns of human behavior through a dreamscape filled with associative symbols. In Encountering Jung on Mythology, Robert Segal notes that psychoanalyst Carl Jung traces "the origin of dreams back to age-old mythological influences" (60). For Jung, myths are important in revealing psychological truths that apply to every person, in a way that transcends space and time. Joseph Campbell states, "Every mythology has to do with the wisdom of life as related to a specific culture at a specific time. It integrates the individual into his society and the society into the field of nature. It unites the field of nature with my nature. It's a harmonizing force" (55). In the foreword to Jan Kott's Shakespeare Our Contemporary, Martin Esslin states that a "great, autonomous creative work of art is for all time, and 9

therefore discloses new facets, new significance for each age" (xx). Midsummer continues to offer new significance for our age when read from an Elizabethan alchemical view, whose concepts are not totally foreign to our age, or our stage. Today, as in the medieval worid, one can read "the worid as if the worid had messages for you" (Campbell 39). This method of alchemically "reading the worid," according to Bettina L. Knapp in Theatre and Alchemy. calls for speculation, association of ideas, images, sensations, observation, and meditation; alchemy in this sense is still alive today. It is not only used both actively and effectively by Jungian psychiatrists and psychotherapists in an attempt better to understand the human personality, but is, as Antonin Artaud suggested, in a general sense also implicit in the process of creating and staging a play, in the formation of the actor, and as the catalyst for the critic. (249-50) Knapp also contends that the transformative process of alchemy is a definitive part of the playwright's creative experience, as "The dramatist also experiences a transmutation: from the uncreated idea which lies buried within his unconscious, to the externalized incamation which is his play" (2). Referring to actors, directors, lighting, sound, and costumes, Knapp also asserts that the "integration of disparate forces on the physical stage" into the unified vehicle of the staged text, serves as an extension of the transformation of the literary work into the dramatic performance (2). While her statements refer to the creative work of the playwright and theatre in general, the alchemical process of the integration of diverse, opposing elements can be specifically related to the transforming action within Midsummer. The philosophical alchemical work of the opus magnum or esoteric alchemy, as summarized by Alexander Roob,'^ correlates direcfly to the dueling dualistic lovers and their ultimate reconciliation in Midsummer: 10

In reference to the divine work of creation and the plan of salvation within it, the alchemistic process was called the 'Great Work.' In it, a mysterious chaotic source material called materia prima, containing opposites still incompatible and in the most violent conflict, is gradually guided towards a redeemed state of perfect harmony, the healing 'Philosophers' Stone' or lapis philosophorum: "First we bring together, then we putrefy, we break down what has been putrified, we purify the divided, we unite the purified and harden it. In this way is One made from man and woman." (123) Psychologically, this process in Midsummer is represented in the progression of the lovers in the rite of passage from singleness to marriage, culminating in the assumption of their functional roles within society as a result of their transformation. The rite of passage serves as a paradigm for the individuation of the personality. Alchemically reading the worid of Shakespeare's Midsummer clarifies how the four worlds of the play are metaphorically linked, and unearths richer linguistic spheres of meaning, as Shakespeare's poetic eye literally glances From heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And, as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name. (V.i.12-17)^ This research is significant because it leads to a new contemporary equivalent of the play's text, to a fuller understanding of the context within which it was written, and offers fresh insight into how the text truly expresses an intrinsic unity. Shakespeare's alchemical imagery manifested through Jung's concepts of psychological integration reveals an interpretation of the play that provides an interface for Shakespeare's Elizabethan text with the pulse of our time. Such an interface displays the operation of anachronism, as "Literary tradition is constantly being reworked under the pressure of shifting ideological and cultural forces" (Halpem 3). In a multi-cultural, post-modem


world, such a positive use of anachronisms for analysis works to facilitate a contemporary reading of Shakespeare's works.

Methodology Because the language and imagery of Jungian analysis is based in archetypes and in alchemy, a Jungian interpretation of the play is first dependent upon an examination of these elements within the play's metaphoric stmcture. This requires an investigation of the astronomy, mythological archetypes, and alchemy in the play that are based in Shakespeare's cultural heritage. I will demonstrate how an understanding of Shakespeare's cosmology leads to an analysis of the play's astronomy, revealing mythological archetypes that correspond to the play's characters. The archetypal stmggle which ensues between the characters is the process of the opus magnum of alchemythe coniunctioa physical as well as psychic process which embodies the transforming theme of the play's characters from singleness to marriage via the Dionysian rites of passage in courtly love. This analysis of Shakespeare's medieval imagery leads to a Jungian, archetypal reading of the play's mythological metaphors, which function figuratively as psychological signators in Jungian analysis. Finally, through the application of the psychoanalytical work of Cari Jung, the play's transformative theme of alchemical individuation is revealed in the integration of the play's diverse elements. The literature review involves a thorough search of available written material on the research topic (critical writings on the play, Elizabethan culture, and Jungian psychology) and related fields (medieval perspectives of astronomy, mythology, 12

alchemy, and the Dionysian rites of passage in courtly love). I have done preliminary research on the play and Shakespeare's cosmology at the Shakespeare Tmst in Stratfordupon-Avon in England, as well as an international review of criticism in books, journal articles, database entries, abstracts, theses, and privately held or published matenals and archives. I also conducted further research on Greek mythology and the rites of Dionysus at the University of Athens when in Greece in October, 2000. To facilitate an archetypal understanding of alchemical symbolism, I will incorporate medieval imagery which exemplifies the metaphoric themes in Midsummer. In addition, I will include some of Marc Chagall's twentieth-century paintings which illustrate similar themes, in order to further support the idea of how archetypal images appear in the work of artists, regardless of space and time, through the collective unconscious. In his introduction to the catalog of the 1968 exhibition of Marc Chagall's paintings at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, Louis Aragon compared Chagall's artistic vision "to that expressed in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream": For all the differences dividing these great artists and writers, they all share an element of irony that is an essential part of their work. Yet as Nabokov wittily remarked, 'A single hissing consonant divides the comic aspect of things from their cosmic aspect.' The art of such painters, wrote [Nabokov], is directed 'towards those mysterious depths of the human soul where the shadows of other worlds pass by like the shades of nameless and soundless vessels.' Part of this research also involves an extensive review of the production history of the play as well as production criticism in order to justify new directions for staging Midsummer. The production of the play based on my findings, while not within the scope of the present project, is a subsequent goal of the research, as the performative application of my thesis brings new light to bear on the staging of the play. 13

Literature Review In considering the astronomy of the play, I have referred to texts that amply document the generally held pre-Copemican views of the day, such as A History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler (Dreyer), Shakespeare and Science (Cumberiand), Medieval Cosmology (Duhem), and Shakespeare's Cosmology (Weber). These texts illustrate the predominantly held Pythagorean/Ptolemaic woridview from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and through Queen Elizabeth's reign. One work in particular illuminates Shakespeare's medieval view of the cosmos, Shakespeare's Tragic Cosmos by T. McAlindon. McAlindon contends that Shakespeare's cosmology stems from the Empedoclean model of the world that produced a "pluralist doctrine that nature is governed by both Love and Strife, sympathies and antipathies; and mainly from this doctrine came the notion of the world as a system of concordant discord or discordant concord" (6). McAlindon traces this view through the works of Shakespeare's literary predecessors: Ovid, Chaucer, and Spenser, to name a few. The Empedoclean view of the world holds that "The whole order of lifeunity, peace, and continuityis founded on this bond of opposites. [.. .] The cosmic doctrine of the two contraries, or reciprocal principles of nature, was world-wide in ancient mythologies ([such as] the Chinese myth of Ying and Yang)" (6). McAlindon appropriates this worldview in his analysis of Shakespeare's tragedies, but he also notes that it is foundational to Shakespeare's imagery in Midsummer. Even so, while McAlindon comments upon the stage of the moon in Midsummer, he does not make the connection that the alchemical coincidence of opposites occurs at the stage of the new moon. McAlindon's work clearly delineates Shakespeare's debt to medieval cosmology, 14

yet he refers only cursorily to Jung's works. He does not bridge the connections between the Empedoclean cosmological schema he has outlined and its symbolism prevalent in alchemy. The astronomy of Midsummer revealed in the text, along with a study of the early summer constellations, clearly defines archetypal oppositions between night/day, sun/moon, and masculine/feminine that set up a mytho-cosmological reading of the play. McAlindon discusses some of the mythic, cosmological properties Shakespeare assigns to the fairies, and this line of thought is continued in Truax's Metamorphosis in Shakespeare's Plays: A Pageant of Heroes, Gods, Maids, and Monsters. Because Shakespeare places Midsummer in Athens, physically, and grounds the mythos of the play in the Thesean legend, Shakespeare's Elizabethan fairies are seen as counterparts of the Greek mythological tradition. Once established, the mythic properties of Midsummer's characters work to establish the archetypes of the play in the context of the alchemical operation of coniunctio, which is indicated by the opposition of the sun and its shadow, the new moon. This operation is defined in medieval alchemical works, as well as in The Complete Works of Carl Jung (including the alchemical texts) and writings on alchemy and individuation by Maria von Franz and Edward F. Edinger. I delineate Jung's understanding of myths as archetypes, with supporting text from Sitansu Maitra in Psychological Realism and Archetypes: the Trickster in Shakespeare, along with their "compensatory" function in society as cultural determinants (Coursen, The Compensatory Psyche).


In Shakespeare's Cosmology. Alan Scott Weber masterfully deliberates Shakespeare's pre-Copemican knowledge of the cosmos and archetypal divine numbers, but like McAlindon focuses his application of these concepts primanly on Shakespeare's tragedies. In addition to cursory glances of the cosmology of Midsummer, nearly as little attention has been given to the archetypal imagery inherent in the play other than in the association of Puck with the trickster archetype (Jung, Archetypes 255) and the aspect of the psyche's shadow introduced by Brook's production. The 1999 dissertation of Mira Linn Wiegmann, A Postmodern Archetypal Approach to Visionary Drama, addresses the archetypal nature of Midsummer and its connection to Jungian psychoanalytical theory as a representation of the process of the individuation of the personality. She grounds her views in an analysis of Peter Brook's 1970 production of Midsummer, in which his use of the convention of doubling the roles of the main characters of Theseus/Oberon and Hippolyta/Titania contributed to a manifestation of the psychological connection between the conscious and the unconscious. Wiegmann states that the "secret play" Peter Brook's production revealed was "a man's stmggle to acknowledge his shadow and integrate his anima," focusing primarily on the work of individuation represented in Theseus, from a patriarchal point of view (63). With its basis in Jung's writings on archetypes, Wiegmann's evaluation of the concept of individuation within the play begins to emerge, but she neglects to fully develop its process from Hippolyta/Titania's perspective. Also, she alludes to the play as a "liminal worid of magic where dreams make what is conscious known" (27) without either defining the "magic" or showing us how it operates through the alchemical interaction of the archetypes in Jung's analytic process. 16

Wiegmann refers often to symbols without identifying them, and her analysis of the mythological archetypes within the play is sketchy, limited only to the dualistic opposition between the masculine and feminine as she focuses primarily on Oberon and Titania (with Puck thrown in for good measure). She gives us only a cursory glance at Shakespeare's grounding of the story in Greek mythology, the source of the archetypes. Wiegmann also neglects to clearly define such Jungian terms as the collective unconscious, archetype, coincidentia oppositorum, or individuation. Her analysis of the lovers' transformation in the woods comes closest to appropriating alchemical symbolism, although she does not see the wood as the alchemical "matrix" or womb of regeneration, but rather as a "chaotic nightmare that endangers the psyche" (47). Her scattered application of Jung's theory of individuation is based mainly on his writings on the archetypes (Volumes 9 and 17 of Jung's Complete Works), with no reference to the volumes of the alchemical symbolism that he applies to the process of individuation (Volumes 5, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16). As a result, her study is fractured and partial, lacking any alchemical connections or cohesion. There has yet to be a thorough archetypal analysis of the play from a Jungian perspective that integrates the cosmological archetypes with the corresponding psychological analysis of the philosophical alchemy of the play. A study of calendars and life cycles in Les Tres Riches Heures du due de Berry (Longnon) and Medieval Calendars (Perez-Higuera) exemplifies the idea of the macrocosm/microcosm and the influence of the heavens upon the natural worid. Shakespeare's Festive Comedy (Barber) and Shakespeare and Cultural Traditions (Kishi, Pringle, and Wells) delineate the rites of May Day and practices of midsummer night's eve common in Shakespeare's era. Michael Camille details the connection of yearly 17

cycles with the medieval rites of courtly love in his treatise The Medieval Art of Love: Objects and Subjects of Desire. Sagar gives further evidence of these practices in "A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Marriage of Heaven and Hell." Citing van Gennep's work in From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Plav. Victor Turner describes the rites of passage that correlate to the rites of courtly love. In The Forest of Medieval Romance. Saunders deftly describes the forest as an "archetypal romance landscape," and, as does Turner, as a liminal space for transformation (ix). However, when she applies these archetypal properties to the forest of Midsummer, she does not recognize the alchemical properties signified in the primordial chaos of the wood; she sees it merely as Shakespeare's metaphoric way of "reworking the themes of the romances" through the theme of love madness (Saunders 196-7). Jung, however, equates the chaos of the wood with the chaos of the prima materia evident in alchemy and in the process of individuation. Jung further connects this idea to that of the primordial chaos in the Bacchic/Dionysian rites that are referred to by Nietzsche, who points us to the transforming, archetypal rites of Dionysus that LadaRichards thoroughly elucidates in Initiating Dionysus. The Dionysian rites bring us full circle to the life/death/renewal process in the rites of passage (as delineated by Van Gennep) and philosophical alchemy (evidenced particularly in the cosmological symbolism of the moon's stages). Some scholars, like Camey, have noted the alchemical imagery utilized by Shakespeare within his tragedies and within his comedy. The Tempest. While Shakespeare was versed in the general alchemical knowledge of his era, scholars have not specifically connected his knowledge of alchemy with his knowledge of the cosmos. 1 18

have not uncovered an alchemical reading of Shakespeare's Midsummer in any depth. The alchemical signifiers in the play are multitudinous, but no thorough alchemical analysis has been applied to Midsummer in its entirety in respect to its archetypes or its astronomy. Mark Stavig in The Form of Things Unknown: Renaissance Metaphor in "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" declares, the patterns of imagery in alchemy parallel the cyclical pattems I have been discussing. The alchemist attempts to fuse the opposing and apparently irreconcilable elements of water and fire by bringing mercury (liquid) and sulphur (brimstone) together. The imagery used to describe the fusing process recalls familiar metaphorical relationships. As John Read explains, sophic sulphur and sophic mercury "were known as [. . .] sun and moon, Sol and Luna, [. . .] masculine and feminine." The [Philosopher's] Stone, when conceived as the result of the union of masculine and feminine principles, was sometimes represented as an infant." The imagery links the process to the larger pattems of death and rebirth in man and nature. Though imagery of alchemy is not pervasive in the plays, it appears in key contexts, notably in the gold imagery of Romeo and Juliet and in the dawn imagery of Oberon (3.2.388-93). (42-3) Yet Oberon's vision of the dawn is only one of multitudinous alchemical images in Midsummer. Also, other scholars such as Edinger (The Psyche on Stage) and Aronson (Psyche and Symbol in Shakespeare) might take exception to Stavig's assertion that Shakespeare's use of alchemical metaphors was no more than occasional. Along with other historical texts, the philosophical views of alchemy are to be found in the writings of Paracelsus, the renowned medieval alchemist, and Robert Fludd, an alchemist who was also Shakespeare's contemporary. John Read's The Alchemist in Life, Literature, and Art and Alexander Roob's Alchemy and Mysticism serve as excellent compendiums of Western alchemy and its symbolism in art. Using these and


other sources, I define how the transforming process of alchemy functions as the driving action within Midsummer through its metaphoric stmcture, plot, and characters. The alchemical correlation to Jung's process of individuation allows immediate access for a contemporary reading of Shakespeare's Elizabethan fairy tale.

Summary of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" The play begins with Theseus, the King of Athens, preparing to celebrate his marriage to Hippolyta, the conquered Amazon queen. Theseus orders his minister, Philostrate, to engage dramatic festivities for the event. Egeus and four Athenian lovers are introduced, and their story unfolds: Helena is in love with Demetrius, who once loved her but now loves Hermia; Hermia loves Lysander, who loves her, but her father, Egeus, wishes her to marry Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander determine to escape from Athens in order to marry; Helena wams Demetrius of the lovers' flight, hoping to gain Demetrius's favor. Even as the lovers flee into the woods (I.ii.), the townsmenBottom, Quince, Flute, Snout, Starveling, and Snugmeet to make arrangements for a play they hope to perform for Theseus and Hippolyta during the wedding festivities. They arrange to meet by moonlight on the following evening in the woods outside the town in order to hold their rehearsal without fear of interruption. As Act n commences, the lovers and townsmen lead us into the wooded domainthe kingdom of the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania, who are in the throes of a horrific quarrel. The object of the argument is Titania's changeling boy, whom she refuses to give over to Oberon as his page. Their marital conflict has upset the 20

balance of nature itself, in unseasonably cool summer weather accompanied by floods. Titania departs from Oberon with the quarrel unresolved, but Oberon cannot let the matter rest. To force her to yield up the boy, Oberon orders his henchman Puck to find a magical flower, "love-in-idleness," whose liquid incites love at first sight of whatever one first sees upon wakingbe it animal or human. At this point, Oberon sees Demetrius scorning Helena's affection, and Oberon instmcts Puck to anoint the disdainful Demetrius's eyes with the love-juice in order to return him to Helena's arms. In Act n.ii., Oberon carries out his plot against Titania, and squeezes the juice on her eyelids as she sleeps. Puck finds Hermia and Lysander asleep from weariness, and thinking Lysander to be Demetrius, anoints Lysander's eyes. Demetrius enters pursued by Helena, and Lysander upon awaking sees Helena and falls madly in love with her. In Act m. Puck stumbles upon the rehearsal of the play by Bottom and his company. In pure mischief. Puck transforms Bottom into an ass. Bottom's companions mn away, and he inadvertently awakens Titania, who at once falls in love with him and has her fairies lead him to her bower where she erotically dotes upon him. Meanwhile, Oberon observes that Puck has misconstrued his instmctions and anointed the wrong Athenian's eyes, resulting in Lysander's love for Helena rather than Demetrius's. So Oberon commands Puck to bring Helena to Demetriusand Oberon himself anoints Demetrius's eyes so that he will love Helena upon waking. However, Lysander is also in pursuit of Helena, expressing his love for her. Helena is convinced that Demetrius and Lysander have conspired to humiliate her, along with Hermia who has joined the scene. Hermia flies into a rage when she realizes that neither man loves her anymore, and the foursome empt in a cacophony of fury and recriminations. Helena runs 21

away from Hermia, and Oberon commissions Puck to overcast the night and lead the men separately astray. The lovers, worn out and lost in the midst of enchantment, fall asleep. In Act IV, Oberon, having obtained the changeling boy from Titania during her enchantment, releases her from her spell of infatuation with Bottom, and the fairy king and queen are reconciled. Oberon orders Puck to remove the ass's head from Bottom. At the break of day in Act V, the royal hunting party of Theseus and Hippolyta ventures into the forest where they discover the sleeping lovers and awaken them. Lysander's love for Hermia has been restored, and Demetrius has recovered the love he once had for Helena. Bottom awakens with vague memories of grandeur, and all lovers leave the forest to prepare for their nuptial feast. Bottom's company performs before the court. After the "iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve" (V.i.349), the fairies come and invoke blessings on the bridal beds of the couples, and Oberon and Titania themselves retire to their own bower to love again, now that they are also reconciled.



Williams refers to critical comments Brustein makes in a review of Midsummer in The New Republic. (23 September, 1985) 33. The medieval constructs of Midsummer manifest conflicting dualities, and Jung asserts that the reconciliation of such opposites results in the integration of the unconscious by the conscious. This results in an alchemical transformation and restoration of equilibrium in the personality through individuation"the process by which a person becomes a psychological 'in-dividual,' that is, a separate, indivisible unity or 'whole' unity through the conflict and collaboration of the conscious and unconscious" (Archetypes 275; 288). See F.C Horwood, ed., A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966) 3-7; and Harold F. Brooks, The Arden Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream (London: Roufledge Press, 1991) lix. At the end of this statement, Alexander Roob quotes Buchlein vom Stein der Weisen, from a 1778 document. While the document is decidedly post-Elizabethan, its essential alchemical meaning derives from alchemical writings and philosophy that predate Shakespeare, back to Paracelsus, the foremost among medieval alchemists. ^ All quotes from A Midsummer Night's Dream in this dissertation are from the Arden Shakespeare version of the play, edited by Harold F. Brooks. (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1979). ^ The quote is from Werner Haftmann's text, Chagall (Trans. Heinrich Baumann and Alexis Brown), in which he quotes Louis Aragon. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1984.) 73.



' Williams refers to critical comments Brustein makes in a review of Midsummer in The New Republic. (23 September, 1985) 33. The medieval constructs of Midsummer manifest conflicting dualities, and Jung asserts that the reconciliation of such opposites results in the integration of the unconscious by the conscious. This results in an alchemical transformation and restoration of equilibrium in the personaHty through individuation"the process by which a person becomes a psychological 'in-dividual,' that is, a separate, indivisible unity or 'whole' unity through the conflict and collaboration of the conscious and unconscious" (Archetypes 275; 288). See F.C Horwood, ed., A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966) 3-7; and Harold F. Brooks, The Arden Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream (London: Routledge Press, 1991) lix. At the end of this statement, Alexander Roob quotes Buchlein vom Stein der Weisen, from a 1778 document. While the document is decidedly post-Elizabethan, its essential alchemical meaning derives from alchemical writings and philosophy that predate Shakespeare, back to Paracelsus, the foremost among medieval alchemists. ^ All quotes from A Midsummer Night's Dream in this dissertation are from the Arden Shakespeare version of the play, edited by Harold F. Brooks. (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1979). ^ The quote is from Werner Haftmann's text, Chagall (Trans. Heinrich Baumann and Alexis Brown), in which he quotes Louis Aragon. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1984.) 73.



Overview of the Cosmology of Shakespeare's Era The need to analyze Midsummer from an astronomical point of view arises not only because the play is metaphorically laced with allusions to the moon, but also because the time frame of the play is directly connected to the phase of the new moon when the moon is invisible in the night sky. While there has been much written on the astrological prognostications in Midsummer in reference to a royal wedding,' historians have neglected a thorough delineation of the significance of the moon's phase in the play as well as an mytho-archetypal reading of the early summer constellations. My examination of these issues calls for an inquiry into Shakespeare's astronomical awareness by reviewing the astronomical views that preceded his era, as well as those that influenced the Elizabethan worldview. The classical Greek view of the world was geocentric, and originates with Eudoxus and Aristotle in the 4* century B C A few hundred years later, Ptolemy adapted this model "from a predominanfly symbolic to an astronomical system" (Simek 7). Ptolemy's cosmology (see Figure 2.1) positioned the earth at the center of a spherical system, with the planets and the sun moving in each of the seven spheres between the earth and the eighth sphere of the fixed stars (in order: the moon. Mercury, Venus, the sun. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). Above the firmament were the crystalline heavens and the light of the empyrean heavens.


Figure 2.1: A depiction of the Ptolemaic system prior to Copemicus, with the earth at the center (Roob 51). A. Cellarius, Harmonica Macrocosmica, Amsterdam. 1660. With only a few alterations, this model of the universe remained virtually unchanged until Copemicus reversed it with his heliocentric theory of the solar system, published in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, 1543 (Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2: The Copemican system, with the sun at the center and the planets orbiting about it (Roob 59). A. Cellarius, Hannonica Macrocosmica, Amsterdam. 1660. 25

Kepler complemented Copemicus's discoveries with the three Laws of Planetary Motions (1609, 1618), which proved that the planets did indeed move around the sun, but in elliptical orbits. In the late 16* and eariy 17* centuries, Galileo also worked to validate Copemicus's theories. However, according to Cumberiand Clark in Shakespeare and Science,^ even though Shakespeare lived at the cusp of the Copemican revolution which rejected the earth (and man) as the center of the solar system, these new ideas were still mostly unaccepted during Shakespeare's lifetime, and the Ptolemaic model of the universe remained the predominanfly held cosmology of the Elizabethan era. T. Walter Herbert states, "The ancient models retained power even over leading naturalist philosophers who advocated direct observation and experiment" (66). John L. Russell, in "The Copemican System in Great Britain," states that the general acceptance of Copemicus's theory was "effectively won by 1650," but prior to this time in England, Copemicus's writings were scantily referenced (223). In 1556, Robert Recorde published an astronomical textbook that was not only a treatise on Ptolemaic cosmology, but also concluded with the first English defense of Copemicanism (Kocher 155-6). After Recorde, Thomas Digges's Prognostication of 1576 was the first thorough "description of the Copemican system in English" (Russell 194). Russell observes that John Dee, Queen Elizabeth's astrologer, "though respectful" of Copemicus's theories, "was apparently unconvinced," and others were either supportive or ambivalent, but neglected to write on the subject prior to 1600 (202). Likewise, Russell contends that little was communicated about Copemicus's revolutionary theories in the popular astronomical almanacs until those of Edward Gresham and Thomas Bretnor from 1604-1618 (213). 26

Clark maintains that Shakespeare held mostly to the medieval, Ptolemaic concept of the heavenly spheres; Shakespeare approached astronomy in general with the mind of the poet. Tme, he studied the heavens closely. He knew the stars. He was familiar with the common or garden practical astronomy of the everyday people about him. But to him the sun was Phoebus with his fiery steeds, the moon was Diana the chaste, dawn was the goddess Aurora, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus were personalities, and comets were messengers of evil omen. (32) The medieval worid accepted the notion that the influence of the constellations and planetary gods was well grounded in the "rhythms of universal nature," a view which T. McAlindon traces, in Shakespeare's Tragic Cosmos, through the works of Shakespeare's predecessors: Ovid, Chaucer, and Spenser, to name a few (38). Shakespeare's literary debt to these authors is well chronicled, and McAlindon contends that they heavily influenced Shakespeare's own cosmology, particularly Chaucer. While it has been surmised that Chaucer, like Shakespeare, never studied at a university, he was, like Shakespeare, widely read. Chaucer was an adept student of astronomy, and had access to such texts as De Sphaera by John of Sacrobosco, as well as the readings of Macrobius, Martianus Capella, and Alain de Lille (North 7-9). McAlindon asserts that hke Chaucer's, Shakespeare's woridview was a blending of Pythagoras's harmony of opposites with Empedocles's theory which stated "nature is govemed by both Love and Strife, sympathies and antipathies" (6). McAlindon also asserts that Chaucer's "elemental imagery, the Mars-Venus relationship (both mythological and astrological), and quadruple patterning are all combined in the service of an imaginative strategy which gives cosmic significance to the protagonist's experience of love and strife" (43). McAlindon details these concepts in Shakespeare's


tragedies and points to them in Midsummer. They most cleariy emerge in Theseus's reading of the description of the play Pyramus and Thisbe, 'A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus And his love Thisbe, very tragical mirth?' Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief? That is hot ice, and wondrous strange snow! How shall we find the concord of this discord? (V.i.56-60) These lines encapsulate the tension of opposites in Midsummer and illustrate the synthesis of Empedocles's reciprocity between Love and Strife and Pythagoras's harmony of opposites into the idea of concordant discord: In this view, the strife which forever agitates the opposites is kept in check by the harmonizing force of love, which binds them together in a fruitful union while upholding the justice of separate roles and identities. The whole order of lifeunity, peace, and continuityis founded on this bond of opposites, just as disorder, chaos, and death are caused by its collapse under the pressure of strife. (McAlindon 6) Just as tragedy results from the dis-integration of opposites, so also may comedyin the restoration of order and renewal of lifeeffect the integration of opposites. By virtue of their mytho-cosmological properties, these concepts are also intrinsically linked to alchemical symbolism, which is also grounded in Pythagorean number mysticism.

Cosmic Numerology Pythagoras and Ptolemy perceived "the universe as being bound together by mathematico-musical principals" (Stolba 13). Pythagoras's idea of the harmony of opposites stems from the mathematical premise that ''harmonia est discordia concors' (harmony is discordant concord),^ which also found expression in other disciplines such


as architecture and music. Fundamentally a musical concept, harmonia est discordia concors refers to the division of something wholethe harmonic noteinto two distinguishable parts, while remaining audibly one note. For example, the notes separated by intervals of 1:2 [octave/diapason], 2:3 [fifth/diapente], and 3:4 [fourth/diatesseron] composed the mathematical basis of the concept of harmony based on discord. By virtue of their essential harmonic properties, for Pythagoreans the four primary numbers1, 2, 3, and 4became archetypes connected to the basic laws of the universe. As elemental symbols referring to the interrelationship of the 4 elements, 4 directions, 4 seasons, and 4 humors, they gave rise to the metaphysical idea of cosmic harmony, or the music of the spheres (see Figure 2.3). This theory manifested itself from Plato's Timaeus (c. 340 BC) to the Pythagorean Nicomachus, and from Boethius (De institutione musica, 6* century) to the writings of Kepler (Harmonice Mundi, 1618): "Music on earth was a reflection of the greater 'music of the spheres' as harmony created by the relative distances and rates of motions of the planets; a harmony that was constantly present, if only people were sufficiently sensitive to hear it" (Yudkin 30). Through the Pythagorean perception of the cosmos grew the idea of life as an integration of religion and science, mathematics and music, and medicine and cosmology. While McAlindon claims that Leo Spitzer "traces the origin of discordia concors (or Concordia discors) to Heraclitus,"^ he also asserts that it was the "Empedoclean model of nature (both microcosm and macrocosm) which gave the concept its decisive numerological form and imprinted it in Westem culture" (259nl6) through mathematics, music, architecture, art, and finally, through literature. 29

Figure 2.3: The music of the spheres: a diagram of the Ptolemaic cosmos "giving the intervals meant to correspond to the distances between the heavenly bodies and their various speeds" (Roob 92). From an astronomical manuscript anthology, Salzburg, circa AD 820. Paul Kocher states in Science and Religion in Elizabethan England that Elizabethan cosmologists subscribed to the Platonic/Pythagorean concepts of the "anima mundi as pictureable by geometrical figures and arithmetical proportions" (151). This further contributed to the idea of a harmonious, interdependent universe in which Pythagorean numerology symbolically manifested the divine truths of the universe (152). Weber concurs that this numerical view of the worid was widespread enough during Shakespeare's day that Shakespeare "could not possibly have avoided it" (110). Weber also contends that Shakespeare "demonstrates a sensitivity to the symbolic value of numbers in several of his works"(l 11). Because Pythagorean number symbolism


represents a unified view of the worid, as metaphor, it also contributed to the fundamental unity of Shakespeare's work. Medieval and Renaissance writers made substantial metaphoric use of mathematical concepts. In Noble Numbers, Subtle Words: The Art of Mathematics in the Science of Storytelling, Barbara Fisher states that "when mathematical elements are strongly present in a literary text, they contribute a necessary dimension to its language," to "formally shape the structure," to "inform a text in singular ways as agents and counteragents, as simple devices or transcendent abstractions," and to "the development of character" (11). Pythagorean numerology as metaphor constmcted a figurative, intemal harmony within a text via symbolic numerical relationships. In Midsummer, the "noble art of glossing numbers" (Peck 58), or reading the play's archetypal number symbolism, reveals the play's underlying harmony. The numerical metaphors are ultimately connected to the cosmic/alchemical reading of the play. Shakespeare contains the chaotic action of Midsummer in the context of numeric harmony. The overall action of the play cycles back upon itself, represented in the androgynous number 1 (or monad), meaning "self-generating, without beginning, without end" (Peck 59). The play begins in Athens and spirals back to the same beginning, to begin yet another cycle, but in a different sphere or "key" (I.i.18). The overriding conflict of the play is manifested in the feminine number 2^ in the opposition of feminine/masculine, and under-girded in the oppositions of day/night and reason/imagination. In Pythagorean numerology, 2 is significant of the tension of universal dualism,'^ "echo, reflection, conflict and counterpoise or contra-position; of the


moon as opposed to the sun" (Cirlot 232). According to Peck, 2 (dyad) also connotes "other, the many; shadows as opposed to reality; corruptibility, mutability, division, disintegration, flux; divided mind, cupidity, self-pity" (60): in Midsummer, these are the characteristics which subsume the lovers as the conflict between the feminine/masculine is engaged in the forest. The mortal worid of the court is shadowed, echoed, or counterposed by the immortal world of the fairies, and the lovers' story is parodied by the mstics' play of Pyramus and Thisbe. The convention of doubling characters in productions of Midsummer (i.e., Theseus/Oberon, Hippolyta/Titania, mstics/fairies, Philostrate/Puck, Egeus/Quince) also contributes to the multivalent linguistic connotation of chaos inherent in the number 2. The number 4 is a number of wholeness and completion. It refers to the quatemary of the 4 elements, 4 seasons, 4 directions, 4 humors, 4 lunar stages, 4 conditions (hot, cold, moist, dry). The number 4 is also connected to the earth, the human situation, and rational organization (Ciriot 232), in addition to "balanced opposition, [and] harmony" (Peck 60). While the tifle of Midsummer suggests an elapsing time period of one night, Theseus indicates that the action is to cover "four happy days" (Li.2), and the duration of the action itself is three days, culminating at midnight, the beginning of the fourth day: Day 1:1; Athens Day 2: E, m, IV.i. 1-101; the woods Day 3: rV.i.l02-IV.ii.43; the woods at dawn; V, Athens Day 4: V.i.349, Athens; midnight, the lovers depart to bed Shakespeare presents 4 distinct worids through the characters in the play: that of the royal court of Athens, that of the faines, that of the 4 Athenian lovers, and that of the


irrepressible rustics. Shakespeare also differentiates these worids through the diversity of poetic language: blank verse is associated with Theseus and Hippolyta in the courtly worid; couplets with the lovers; lyrical measures with the fairy worid; and prose with the rustics (Young 66). In the final divertissements offered to Theseus for the wedding feast, Pyramus and Thisbe is the 4* entertainment offered, then chosen for performance. There are 4 couples in the masculine/feminine struggle. It should be noted here that the 4 couples add up to 8, which is the symbol of regeneration or transformation (used as an emblem for baptism in the Middle Agesa symbol of spiritual death and rebirth). Because of its shape, 8 also "symbolizes the eternally spiraling movement of the heavens," as well as denoting that the "planetary influences have been overcome" or reconciled (Cirlot 233). Peck states that 8 is a sign of justice (62), which has certainly been graciously performed on Hermia's behalf, as her penalty for filial rebellion is dismissed and she is allowed by Theseus to marry her "true" love, Demetrius. There are 6 townspeople in the play: Quince, Bottom, Flute, Snout, Starveling, and Snug. 6 is symbolic of "ambivalence and equilibrium [. . .] of the human soul. It is associated with trial and effort, and has been shown to be related to virginity" (Cirlot 233). This human aspect is very applicable to the Athenian mstics, for they are portrayed as the salt of the earth, the 'everyman' with whom we can all relate at some point or level. The significance of their trials and efforts in the production of Pyramus and Thisbe is a source of comedy and the substance of their actions in the play's plot. Oblivious to their own efforts, the mstics produce in all honesty, innocence, sincerity, and ignorance a love-tragedy which at one and the same time parodies, mocks, and wams of the tyrannies


of love. Peck also states that "6 is the number of fruitful marriage" as well as virginity, representing the 6 lovers who wed (61). At the end of the 3"* day and the beginning of the 4th, the ultimate reconciliation of the once discordant lovers is completed by the stroke of midnight, at 12 o'clock, as the lovers "to bed" (V.i.344), with the fairies in attendance to "bless" their beds and progeny (V.i.390). 12 is a product of the multiples of 3 and 4 which add up to the "perfect" number of 7, symbolizing the completion of a cycle. 12 is also "symbolic of cosmic order and salvation. It corresponds to the number of the signs of the Zodiac; [. . . ] linked to it are the notions of space and time, and the wheel or circle" (Ciriot 233-4). The circle, or mandala, is an archetypal symbol of wholeness and unity (bringing us back to the monad, 1) that has been achieved on earth, as in heaven, or in alchemical language, "that which is below is to be made like that which is above" (Singer 96). It has been postulated by Gary Jay Williams that Shakespeare used a general cast of 16 actors, 12 men and four boys (another multiple of 4, as well as 6 and 1 adding up to 7) as the basic ensemble for his productions (34). In Midsummer, Williams asserts, this would have been accomplished by double-casting the actors. While Pythagorean number symbolism manifests an underlying unity in Midsummer through Shakespeare's metaphoric allusions, it also reveals the nature of alchemical transformation within the play's cosmology.

Alchemical Number Symbolism In the alchemical cosmos, each sign of the Zodiac represents one of the stages of the alchemical process,^ and each of the planets is associated with a primary element.^ 34

One of the primary images of the opus alchymicum is geometric in nature and revolves around the problem of the squaring of the circle (Figure 2.4).

Figure 2.4: According to Jung, "the 'squaring of the circle' represents the 'archetype of wholeness'" (Jung, Archetypes 388): "All things do live in the three, but in the four they merry be" (Jung, Psychology and Alchemy 125); or, in the case of Midsummer, in the four they married be. Note the opposition between the masculine/Sol, and feminine/Luna, in the union of the microcosm/heaven, with the macrocosm/earth. Jamsthaler, Viatorium spagyricum. 1625. It is through this mystical/mathematical process in which the original chaotic unity-the prima materia or "gross and impure One" (the monad) is broken down into the four elements, which then recombine into a "pure and subtile One": The production of 1 from 4 is the result of a process of distillation and sublimation which takes the so-called "circular" form: the distillate is subjected to sundry distillations so that the "soul" or "spirit" shall be extracted in its purest state. [. . .] The spirit [. . .] is the temarius or number 3 which must first be separated from its body, and after the purification of the latter, infused back into it. Evidently the body is the 4* (Jung, Psychology and Alchemy 124-5)


According to Edward Edinger, the "Mandala Fountain" (Figure 2.5) from the 1550 alchemical text. Rosarium philosophorum, illustrates the elemental number symbolism in the alchemical process: The images in the picture are cosmic (stars, sun and moon), inorganic (represented by the 4 elements and the vapors) and reptilian, [. . .] built into it is the symbolic sequence 1, 2, 3, 4. There's one fountain in the center but just above it are two representations of duality: the sun and the moon on the one hand, and the two-headed serpent on the other. The number three is built into the picture by the three spouts in the fountain [. .] The quatemity is represented by the four stars in the comers symbolizing the four elements. (41-3)


Figure 2.5: "The Mandala Fountain": the sun (Sol) and moon (Luna) are in opposition, and the dragon at the top, center of the figure, represents the dualistic figure of Mercurius. (Edinger, Coniuncto 41). Rosarium philosophorum. 1550. The alchemical sequence of 1, 2, 3, 4, is known as the "axiom of Maria Prophetissa," in which she cries, unrestrainedly, "1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 3, and out of 36

the 3rd comes the 1 as the 4*"'*^; Maria's treatise goes back to some of the eariiest alchemical and Gnostic teachings (Jung, Psychology and Alchemv 314n), and her "almost bestial shriek," interestingly enough, "points to an ecstatic condition" (160n), a transcendent state achieved in both psychic and physical coniunctio. In Midsummer, the marriage of the three 3 couples cannot occur until unity between the 4* (Oberon and Titania) is restored. Thus, we have the significance of the number 3, symbolic of "spiritual synthesis, the formula for the creation of the worids [.. .] the harmonic product of the action of unity upon duality [. . .] associated with the concepts of heaven" (Ciriot 232), striving for completion in the psychic and physical coniunctio of all 4 couples. In Midsummer, the transforming paradigm from chaos to order, or the union of opposites, is represented by a numerical reading: from the original 1 (prima materia, chaos, monad), comes 2 (dyad, duality, opposition), represented by 3 couples (Hermia/Demetrius; Helena/Lysander; Hippolyta/Theseus), out of the 3'^' couple, Hippolyta/Thesesus, comes the union of their inner counterpart-Oberon/Titania-as the 4* couple, whose reconciliation completes the opus magnum. The concept of "oneness" in the medieval mind, according to Peck, points to cosmology as a foundation of ethics. A person "misnumbered" or "out of all compass" is one who is in error, who is "out of kilter with the universe," and literally, "out of tune" (Peck 30-1). The alchemists represented physical/spiritual wholeness in the context of the mystical/mathematical influence of the quatemity (Figure 2.6).




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The idea of "oneness" also leads us to the notion of the universe as a circle, or mandala, unifying and governing the relationship between the "above" and "below."

Microcosm/Macrocosm As we have seen, the Ptolemaic system of the universe configures a world with man, the microcosm, integrally related to the cosmos, or macrocosm. The Anatomical Man illuminated by Pol de Limbourg in the Due de Berry's Tres Riches Heures, is a wonderful example of the medieval conception of man/woman in relation to their universe: the hermaphroditic figure is dualistic yet one in the center, with the spheres of the heavens in harmony revolving around them (Figure 2.7). The illustration is rich in numerical symbolism, and Pol de Limbourg uses the zodiac as the basis of the illustration's unifying mandala, in which, according to Scott Peck, Man's miniature universe corresponds to the greater universe, as the 12 signs of the zodiac influence the 12 parts of the body. [. . .] The artist uses the 4 comers of his worid, that is to say, the page to delineate the 4 conditions (hot, cold, moist, dry), the 4 humors, and each of the 4 seasons, thereby accounting for another correspondent 12 that, along with the heavenly mansions, frame and at least partly govern man. [. .] its 360 degree circularity implies man's containment within the Universal One

(8 being a return to 1). [. . .] the artist has depicted the whole of the 4square world with all its oppositions of macrocosm and microcosm symmetrically arranged and, though various, made equable through numbered correspondence. [. . .] Its variety delights, but the highest pleasure it affords lies in the mathematical equability of its parts. The picture's meaning is its aesthetic unity. (Peck 19, 21) Thus, Anatomical Man represents a cosmic, transcendent vision of numerical unity, illustrating the perfect wholeness of man/woman in relationship to the universe. According to Jung, the basic psychological motif of the mandala is that of a "center of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche, to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which is itself a source of energy" (Archetypes 357).
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Figure 2.7: Anatomical Man. Plate 14. Les Tres Riches Heures du due de Berry. Jean Longnon and Raymond Gazelles. Musee Condee, Chantilly, France. 1413-16. 39

Pol de Limbourg has illustrated a perfect conception of the alchemical marriage of opposites in the androgynous figure of the Anatomical Man. According to Singer, the cosmic coniunctio results in a "dissolution of gender identity" as the combination of the masculine and feminine energies produces the "philosophical gold" embodied in the archetype of the hermaphrodite, which exists as a potential of being for every human being who undertakes the quest of bringing [the opus magnum] into realization. In the life of the individual, androgyny is a goal of the person's individuation. (236) The androgynous figure thus represented in medieval iconography (as in Figures 2.6-7) refers not only to cosmic harmonies, but also to psychological harmony. McAlindon asserts that " Not hierarchical order, but a fine balance or mingling which maintains both unity and distinction is the psychic ideal" (19) in the integration of the dualistic macrocosm/microcosm that represents the alchemical marriage of opposites. This mystical marriage of opposites in Pol de Limbourg's figure is also manifested within the unifying mandala, or circle. The circle also corresponds to the changing of the seasons in a cyclical perception of life. This concept of time is archetypal, and serves as a referent across ages, from the ancient world through Shakespeare's time to the twentieth century. A modem example of this is seen in Marc Chagall's painting Homage to Apollinaire (Figure 2.8), in which the cosmic man/woman is centered in the midst of a circular pattem, also amidst numeric references within the spheres:


Figure 2.8: Homage to Apollinaire. Marc Chagall, 1911-12. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

The Seasons: Cycles of Transformation The cosmic mandala serves as a paradigm for the progression of the seasons, which also display dualities (winter/summer; spring/fall). These oppositions operate not only as functions of time, but forces of nature. This natural force is wrapped up in Shakespeare's use of "time-lapse" as metaphor in his comedies which "either generate or resolve their plots by means of transformation," using devices such as "doubling" or are constmcted upon "the exploitation of similitude and/or arithmetic progression" (Cox 9). Cox asserts that in Shakespeare's transformation plays "time's progress may be circular," based upon seasonal myths and changes, and as such, using the lapse of time as metaphor within a play represents "the process by which most people actually achieve some degree 41

of self-knowledge" (15), which occurs in Midsummer as the lovers make the rite of passage from singleness to marriage. Peck states that for the medieval individual, "personal life [was] temporally contained and connected with the ordered worid around it" (35). This means that his/her personal sense of time was not just simply linearone day following after anotherbut also cyclical as he/she connected to the "continuum of history" through religious ritual, living "within etemity" as the church year celebrates death and rebirth through the retelling of its history based on the lunar, cyclic calendar (35). This connection to ritual, so ordered "in conjunction with astronomical cycles and configurations" (34), gave another level of complexity to the medieval perception of time. Peck continues: Time and space are for the medieval metaphysician inseparable concepts. One cannot exist without the other. To explore the soul and its motions the medieval philosopher frequently relies upon geometry and arithmetic, partly because of the peculiar nature of the soul as an eternal entity caught in time. [. .] In one's soul searching, time can be comprehended only by turning simultaneously inward and outward until time and self become both circumscript and uncircumscript by center and circumference. (38-9; 40) The archetypal cosmic relationship Shakespeare presents in Midsummer, however, is in opposition, rather than harmony. Shakespeare seems to employ chaotic time rather than orderly, circumscript time within the constmct of a dreamwhich indicates a different state, reality, or time. The "dream drama" was perhaps suggested by Lyly's Prologue to his Woman in the Moon, written ten years before Midsummer, "remember all is but a poet's dream, the first he had in Phoebus' holy bower; but not the last, unless the first displease" (Horwood 8). This dream atmosphere prevails in the woods to which the lovers escape, resulting in the suspension of time as we know it. As


Oriando says to Rosalind in As You Like It. "There's no clock in the forest!" (Shakespeare, m.ii.319). According to Campbell, dreamtime, in the mythic sense, constitutes "a time that is no time" (42). Horwood believes that in employing 'the Dream' as a piece of poetical machinery, Shakespeare links himself to his mediaeval predecessors, whose conventional allegories knew no other medium than that made familiar to them by their favourite 'Romaunt'~a device derived by Lorris from the quaint dream-book to which Chaucer often refers, 'Scipionis Somnium,' by 'an author bight Macrobes.' (8) The shadowy woodland reflects the lack of harmony and the lack of unity which is literally troubling the landscape through the central characters' antagonism towards one another. The interrelationship of macrocosmic seasonal changes with the microcosm of humanity in Midsummer is represented in Shakespeare's use of the temporal rites of 'midsummer,' as well as the bacchanalian 'rites' of courtly love associated with the allusions to May Day within the play, and their consequential effect upon not only the lovers, but also the intemal movement of the play. In the Middle Ages, calendars were based upon lunar cycles and followed the agricultural year. In the earliest representations of spring in the Middle Ages, the warrior was seen astride his horse, ready for batfle. This image usually coincided with March and the review of troops in honor of Mars, the god of war. The tradition changed with Pepin the Short's reforms after 755 AD, when military reviews were transferred to the month of May. An interesting iconic change also ensued in the calendrical representation of the knight as the Middle Ages progressed, and courtly love flowered. From the twelfth century onward, the knight no longer carries conventional weapons, but instead bears




Figure 2.9: May knight with flowers, versus a weapon, in hand. (Perez-Higuera 189). Frescoe from Notre Dame de Pritz, Laval, France. 11*-13* centuries. flowers (Figure 2.9). This change in imagery suggests the engagement of the battle of the sexes in the developing rites of courtly love (Perez-Higuera 183-190).

Figure 2.10: May knight, with falcon and Gemini lovers. (Perez-Higuera 58). Bedford Book of Hours. 1425.

Figure 2.11: Gemini lovers. Les Tres Riches Heures. Plate 14. 1413-1416.


Other iconic changes in reference to the month of May are seen in the Bedford Book of Hours (1425) in which the knight sports a falcon, in the courtly hunt or pursuit of love (Figure 2.10). Beside him is an illustration of "Gemini," the twins (Perez-Higuera 58, 80). In this representation, as well as in that from Anatomical Man in Les Tres Riches Heures (Figure 2.11), the aspect of the Gemini duo is that of lovers versus twins, due to the tradition that the month of May was associated with lovers.

Figures 2.12-13: (Plate 6, May [left]; Plate 9, [right] August). The scene for May depicts the court making its way into the forest with hunting dogs, to engage in the rites of May. The August scene shows the couples emerging from the forest with their dogs. Les Tres Riches Heures. 1413-1416. Chaucer often used the month of May as a metaphor for lovers (North 295), in which lovers foraying into the woods are accompanied by hunting dogs (as seen in Plates 45

6 and 9 of Les Tres Riches Heures, Figures 2.12 and 2.13). North contends, "Traditional May rituals had much in common with others associated with (old) Midsummer Eve (the eve of 24 June), Shrove Tuesday (when the rays of Mars and Venus touched on 14 February 1385, it was Shrove Tuesday), and other feasts too, even Whitsuntide" (519; Figures 2.12-13). The significance of these festive occasions seems to depend upon the repeating astronomical schema when Mars and Venus appear together. In eariy May, this can occur in the sign of Taurus (296). In Midsummer, the Taurean imagery of the bull is directly connected to Theseus, or the masculine, via the mythological story of Theseus's encounter with the Minotaur in the labyrinth. Through the Thesean legend, the escapades of the lovers in the woods have also been compared to the Minotaur's labyrinth, replete with its representation for a-maze-ment and blurring of time within its twisting and tuming pathways. In the alchemical process, the alchemical couple makes its spiritual

Figure 2.14: The alchemical couple: note the bulls in the lower left hand comer, at the entrance of the labyrinth, or the 'work' (Roob 37). Also note the opposition, again, of the sun and moon, Sol /Luna. G.van Vreeswyk, De Goude Leeuw, Amsterdam. 1676. 46

joumey through the "labyrinth of material transformation" (Figure 2.14), and this process begins in May, in the zodiacal sign of Taums (Roob 37, 299). Interestingly enough, the symbol of Taums, or the bull, is also associated with the feminine. June Singer in Androgyny: The Opposites Within, discusses the prepatriarchal, matriarchal associations of Taurus with the gynocracy, as a "strong sex symbol. It traditionally represented the male principle in a female-dominated worid. The horns, a powerful sex symbol also, adorned many of the temples and shrines associated with the worship of the Great Goddess" (41). In many medieval calendars and representations, Taurus is cut off below the waist, carries his head low and paws the earth like an ox, symbolizing fertility. Perceived as an ox in matriarchal societies, the bull's fecund powers served as a matemal aspect, and symbolized sacrifice, self-denial and chastity (Cirlot 34). According to Singer, however, donning ancient artifacts of the masculine, warrior Amazons were symbolized by the wearing of "hunter's garb" as well as the "theriomorphic^^ appearance of a homed bitch," which took its shape from the horns of Taums. The feminine aspect of fertility is subsumed in the aggressive masculine aspect of the warrior, and signifies a woman who, "rather than integrating the 'masculine aspects that could make her strong, as woman, she identifies with the power aspect of the 'masculine'" (46). As the matriarchal societies became replaced by patriarchal mle, the matemal aspect of Taums the bull shifted to the masculine, from Luna to Sol.

Sol et Luna As we have seen so far in alchemical imagery (Figures 2.4-5, 2.14), the relationship of the sun to the moon is a metaphoric construct of the masculine/feminine 47

opposition. In Midsummer, the most immediate representatives of this imagery would be Theseus, represented by the sun, Sol, and Hippolyta, represented by the moon, Luna. Other oppositions ai-e also embodied in the Sol/Luna opposition: reason/imagination; fire/water; hot, dry/wet, moist; gold/silver. Alchemically opposite, it would take nothing short of a miracle to effect the consummation of their relationship. Psychologically, the play begins in the light of day, representing consciousness, and descends into the depths of the shadows of a dark, moonless night, representing the unconscious. The coniunctio, or alchemical marriage, occurs in the reconciliation of opposites of Sol with Luna (Figure 2.15).

Figure 2.15: The alchemical marriage: Sol and Luna. (Jung, Transference 75). Rosarium philosophorum. 1550. According to Marie-Louise von Franz, The uniting of the masculine with the feminine the coniunctio does not take place in the full but in the new moon, which means it takes place in 48

the darkest night where not even the moon shines, and in this ultimately dark night, sun and moon unite. [. . . ] When you are completely out and consciousness is gone, then something is bom or generated; in the deepest depression, in the deepest desolation, the new personality is bom. When you are at the end of your tether, that is the moment when the coniunctio, the coincidence of opposites, takes place. (162-3) In Midsummer, once the coniunctio has occurred at the 'dark of the moon' (see Figure 2.16), only then does the new day dawn, signaling a new cycle of psychic harmony and the renewal of life.

Figure 2.16: "The Sun and its Shadow Complete the Work" (Roob 79). M. Maier, Atalantafugiens, Oppenheim. 1618. While the sun represents the dominant force of the medieval universe, the stage of the new moon (when it is invisible in the night sky) represents renewal and regeneration. According to Mark Stavig, in "the moon's complexity as a metaphor, it can be associated with chastity and fickleness, love and infatuation, growth and sterility, orderly control and madness, ultimate reality and illusion, and good and evil" (40). Along with the constellations of the midsummer sky, we now turn our attention to the lunar aspect of Midsummer's astronomy. 49

The Astronomy of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" In reviewing the performance history of Midsummer and examining its sources, one theme seems to eclipse all others: the influence of the heavens in the lunacy of love that occurs during the midsummer night's eve revels. Critic F. C Horwood states that "the lovers illustrate a theme rather than themselves, the capriciousness and transforming power of love. [. . .] An ideal set of circumstances is thus devised for exhibiting the follies of love, while those placed in them are comically unaware of the facf (17-18). Robin Phillips's Stratford, Ontario production of 1976-7, which was conceived from Queen Elizabeth's point of view, also expresses this particular thought, "while Elizabeth could entertain fantasies about the lunacy of love, she could not accept its transfiguring power" (Warren 64). Emest Schanzer also concurs with this thesis stating, "lovemadness is the central theme" of the play (Muir 27; Saunders 197). Schanzer also states, "Shakespeare creates unity of atmosphere chiefly by flooding the play with moonlight" (29). Norrie Epstein in The Friendly Shakespeare also refers to Shakespeare's "moondrenched fairy world" (111), and the tifle of Gary Jay Williams' recentiy published analysis of Midsummer's performance history. Our Moonlight Revels, also invokes the prevailing thought of the moon's presence and influence in the play. These allusions to moonlight, however, are technically erroneous if one considers the phase of the moon to which Shakespeare refers during the action of the play. Note in Figure 2.17, that when the moon is new (the 13* through the 16* of this particular month) it becomes invisible to the human eye, and takes the shape of a crescent during its waning and waxing.



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2.17: The monthly phases of the moon, showing the moon's invisibility at the stage of the new moon, the 13*-16*. Reproduced by permission. 1999, Astronomy. This discovery is significant, for in an examination of over four hundred years of the Midsummer's performance history-as well as in the art depicting its story-it seems evident the actual astronomy of the play has been misconstmed: the action of the play has been primarily staged to occur under the light of a full moon. In Our Moonlight Revels, Williams notes the correct astronomical phase of the moon in the play which technically places most of the play in darkness, yet only a few pages later he states that the wood is "moonlit" (7, 24). In his text on script analysis. Backwards and Forwards, David Ball states. The moon is not in the tifle of A Midsummer Night's Dream, [. . .] but reference to the moon occurs every few lines from the play's first words to the last. [. . .] The moon is always presentbut why? [. . .] With such an extended image, the answer is lengthy. But begin with, say, one obvious quality: what is the nature of the moon's light? [. . .] The moon image evokes (by nature of its strange, shape-altering light) illusion, change, indefinite form and natureand much more. This scratches the surface of what is evoked by moon imagery: romance, mystery, magic, fear, distance, lunacyand more still. [. . .] A Midsummer Night's Dream with no moon is like a day with no sun. (74)


With such an emphasis on moon imagery, directors have mistakenly staged the play under the light of a full moon, when in the beginning of the play the text indicates that it is new, or invisible. Four days is the time allotted by Shakespeare until the next moon appears, as indicated by Theseus: Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour draws on apace; Four happy days bring in another moon. But, O, methinks how slow this old moon wanes. She lingers my desires like to a step-dame or a dowager Long withering out a young man's revenue. (I.i.2-4) to which Hippolyta replies. Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; Four nights will quickly dream away the time; And then, the moon, like to a silver bow, new bent in heaven, Shall behold the night of our solemnities. (I.i.7-11; emphasis added) .. . foreshadowing the mythic dreamscape of the play as well as informing us of the moon's current phase, which is severely in the wane. Hippolyta's comments delineate the actual stage of the moon in its monthly cycle: between the waning moon and the new moon-when there is an absence of moonlight in the night sky-whose light is that emitted by the starry constellations. The new moon does not appear until the wedding feast at the end of the play when the crescent moon figuratively appears in the character of Moonshine, who graces the marital feast. In Midsummer, the moon is an intrinsic, essential factor in the "course of tme love [which] never did mn smooth" (Li. 134). The moon serves as a symbol for transformation by virtue of its monthly phases in which it allegorically progresses through the life cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, yet its influence in the play is symbolically active rather than literally presentrecognizing that much of the play's action occurs under the starry shadows of the night. 52

According to Cumberiand Clark in Shakespeare and Science. Shakespeare metaphorically refers to the moon in many ways. Its mythological archetype is Diana, goddess of the hunt who was cold, modest and unmoved by love (112). Shakespeare uses the moon as a metaphor for the chaste warrioress, Hippolyta, who is cool in her affections towards Theseus: she views the new moon self-referentially, warrior-like, as a "silver bow, new bent" (Li.10), which also reveals the attitude (as Theseus's conquered rival) with which she is facing, in her mind, the "solemnities" (Li.11)not the festivitiesof her marriage to Theseus. The waning energy of her moon is negative, cold and baneful: it is this aspect of lunar energy that is carried into the interior dreamscape of the play. Clark contends that Shakespeare understood the shadowy nature of the moon by virtue of the essence of its light that was merely reflected by the sun (105). As such, the moon served as a symbol for thieves working under the cloak of its shadowy light (1112). Quince's entreaty to the mstics for a clandestine meeting in the "palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight" (I. ii.94-5) to rehearse their play for Duke Theseus may not necessarily be a statement that the moon will be up and shining, but perhaps of the time of day they are meeting as well as the allusion to conspiracy which the moon symbolically suggests. The moon's negative influence is further manifested early in Midsummer when Egeus accuses Lysander of stealing his daughter's (Hermia's) affections: Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung With faining voice verses of feigning love, And stolen the impression of her fantasy [...] With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart. (Li.30-32, 36)


Lysander and Hermia invoke "Phoebe," a sumame of Diana given to the moon (Clark, 114), as a co-conspirator in their secret, illicit affair and flight from Athens: Tomorrow night, when Phoebe doth behold Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass. Decking with liquid peari the bladed grass (A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal) Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal. (I.i.209-213) Once they have passed the threshold of Athens' gates, the lovers cannot tum back. Their flight propels them towards the darkening woods. While the lovers may have previously "wooed" by the light of a full moon, their hopes will soon be dashed by a deceptive moon-whose influence in absentia relentiessly leads them ever deeper into the throes of lovers' lunacy. The ritual joumey of the lovers through the wood serves as a processual metaphor for the reconciliation of opposites between Mars and Venus, leading to a broader view of the cosmos as a uniting and transforming force. Theseus and Hippolyta manifest this dualistic stmggle by light of day, and Oberon and Titania veiled by the darkness of night. Because Shakespeare's plays were performed primarily during the daytime, references to "moonlight" by Oberon and Titania also set the time of a particular scene at night. In addition to giving a sense of time, Oberon's bellicose greeting to Titania, "111 met by moonlight, proud Titania" (n.i.60), also further suggests the negative aspect of the moon's influence. Clark states, "From lunar control of the tides came the notion that the moon also mled the rain clouds" (107). This is evident in the on-going argument between the fairy king and queen that has resulted in an unseasonable deluge: Therefore, the moon, the governess of floods. Pale in her anger, washes all the air, [. . ] And this same progeny of evils comes 54

From our debate, from our dissension; We are their parents and original, (n.i. 103-4; 115-118) At the height of their argument, Titania offers Oberon a proposal for reconciliation: If you will patiently dance in our round. And see our moonlight revels, go with us; If not, shun me and I will spare your haunts. (E.i.140-142) The proposal juxtaposes Titania's domain, "oMr round . . . oMr moonhght [Diana's] revels" against those of Oberon, your haunts." Their opposition embroils the atmosphere with their contention. There is no moonlight tonight in this kingdom, only shadows of discontent. When Titania awakens and is enthralled with Bottom, who has been transformed into an ass by Puck, she asks her fairies to [. . .] lead him to my bower. The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye. And when she weeps, weeps every little flower. Lamenting some enforced chastity, (ni.ii.90-3) From Titania's description of the moon, it may be about to rain, and so she seeks shelter for her revels with Bottom. This further confirms the lack of visible moonlight during the midsummer madness in the forest. The weeping, or sadness, of the moon is again related to chastity: an "enforced chastity," perhaps in reference to Titania's self-imposed abstinence from Oberon's bed in lieu of her love for her changehng boy, or to perhaps Hippolyta's coldness towards Theseus. When Oberon sees that Puck has fouled his intentions to bring Demetrius and Helena together, Oberon determines to set matters back on course and orders Puck to [. . .] overcast the night; The starry welkin cover thou anon With drooping fog, as black as Acheron. (Ifl.ii.355-8) 55

Here we see that Oberon makes no reference either to the moon or moonlight (both are absent), but only to the starry canopy. In Act m, as the Athenian rustics begin their rehearsal for the Duke's play. Quince announces to the company that "Pyramus and Thisbe meet by moonlight," to which the question is raised, Doth the moon shine that night we play our play? (in.i.48) Bottom, in response, calls for . . . A calendar, a calendar! Look in the almanac: find out moonshine, find out moonshine! (m.i.49, 50) Quince, after consulting an astronomical almanac (which was widely available and used by the masses during Shakespeare's time [Papp 38]), then affirms, Yes it doth shine that night, (E.i.51) in the phase of the new moon, the crescent, which Hippolyta previously mentioned (Li.9,10). In Bottom's mind, it seems necessary that the great window must be opened in order to have moonlight for the lovers, and he replies. Why, then may you leave a casement of the great chamber window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the casement, (m.i.52-54) However, Quince, realizing that there will not be much light from the new, crescent moon, insists. Ay, or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lantern, and say he comes to disfigure or to present the person of Moonshine. (Ill.i.55-56) -for the moon will be just a sliver, being new, and will not produce enough light necessary for the mood and theme of the story. Thus, as the play's director. Quince


determines that the moon must be a character in the play in order to provide (even if metaphorically) enough moonshine by which the lovers meet. At the wedding feast, when the mstics' "most lamentable comedy" (I.ii.11) is presented before the Duke, Bottom (as Pyramus) comments on the darkness of the night sky: 0 grim look'd night, O night with hue so black! (V.i. 168) When the moon does rise in the course of the presentation of Pyramus and Thisbe, Moonshine stands forth, introducing himself. This lantem doth the homed moon present; (V.i.231) referring to the slivered shape of the new moon being "homed," which is also a doubleentendre with sexual overtones, referring to cuckoldry from Demetrius's point of view: He should have worn the homs on his head. (V.i.232) Theseus counters Demetrius's witty quip with a pun on the word "crescent," referring to the current phase of the moon in its first quarter, as well as the character presenting moonshinewho is merely a sliver of a fellow named Starveling (Brooks 117). He is no crescent, and his homs are invisible within the circumference. (V.i.233-4) Hippolyta, however, is distressed at Moonshine's duplicitous presentation in Pyramus and Thisbe as the "homed moon"a feminine referent (see fn 11), while presenting himself as "the Man i' the Moon" (V.i.235-6), as she states, 1 am aweary of this moon, would he would change! (V.i.242) In opposition to the Lion's roaring, however. Moonshine, according to Hippolyta, [. . .] shines with a good grace. (V.i.256-7)


At the end of the play, Theseus states. Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead. (V.i. 335) -which Luna (Moonshine) and Sol (Lion, a symbol for Sol), perform in conjunction. When Moonshine exits, or sets, before the lovers meet, Hippolyta queries. How chance Moonshine is gone, before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover? (V.i.300-1) Theseus replies. She will find him by starlight. (V.i.302) This is crucial to note, because this reflects precisely what happened the previous "eve" in the forest: Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena all wandered about and found each other, in the throes of the moon's negative energy, under the light and influence of the stars (Figure 2.18).




Figure 2.18: Eariy summer constellations (emphasis added). Reproduced by permission. 1999, Astronomy.


The Constellations of the Early Summer Sky The symbolism of the eariy summer constellations, when considered as part of the metaphoric structure of the play, works to delineate the opposing forces in the play while the alchemical action in the rites of passage works to reconcile them. Russell A. Peck notes, "such is usually the goal of medieval cosmology: the study of the uni-verse is a tuming toward the One (unus-versus)" (27). ft seems that Shakespeare used his knowledge of the heavens to uni-fy the "verse" of his play as the macrocosm (the heavenly stars), allegorically reflected the microcosm (the conflict between the masculine and feminine). Clark asserts that to Shakespeare, the constellations and planets "were personalities. [. . .] To the inhabitants of the celestial universe he assigned the attributes of their namesakes in classical mythology" (32). When the constellations of the early summer sky assume their m)4hological shapes, they can be seen to correspond to the essence of the characters in the play (Figure 2.19). The qualities of the gods have often been assigned to the fairies, which further connects them with their Athenian counterparts. Not content to trivialize the stmggle between men and women merely through familiar allusions to lovers' moonlit rendezvous, it seems that Shakespeare has also incorporated the joumeying stars in their courses (not necessarily predictably) as a broader metaphor for achieving harmony in the state of marriage. According to Peck, Cosmic symmetries and motions teach men such valuable psychological concepts as wholeness, measure, proportion, harmony. [...] Such terms constitute the basic vocabulary of medieval discussions of mental health. (27) 59

Figure 2.19: The mythic constellations: Draco; the Hunting Dogs; Virgo; Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer (with Serpens cauda and Serpens caput); and the Summer Triangle. From the Glow-in-the-Dark Night Sky Book by Clinton Hatchett, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi. Illustrations copyright 1988 by Stephen Marchesi. Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc. The mytho-cosmic relationship of Mars versus Venus that Shakespeare presents in Midsummer, as I have previously mentioned, is in opposition, rather than harmony. In the comedy of Shakespeare, as the masculine and feminine strive for oneness through the transformative work of alchemy, tragedy is avoided and life is renewed. As Clark states. The main purpose of the alchemist, the changing of something base and worthless into something else, beautiful and precious, provided Shakespeare with a ready poetical simile. He uses it in Sonnet CXIV: Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true, And that your love taught it this alchemy. To make of monsters and things indigest Such chembins as your sweet self resemble. Creating every bad a perfect best, As fast as objects to his beams assemble? (65) The mythical constellations of the early summer sky mirror Shakespeare's earthly characters. The opposition of the feminine to the masculine, when represented on the earth of the stage as it is in the heavens, figuratively as well as practically molds the 60

environment of the play. I find it possible to use the early summer star chart as a floor plan for performance, using it to plot and inform the characters' actions in relationship to the cosmological macrocosm, influencing as well as defining their relationships in microcosm. One design representing this idea (Figure 2.20) can be implemented using thrust stage, but can also be adapted for an arena or proscenium stage.

Figure 2.20: Floor plan of Midsummer constellations. 1996, Katherine Perrault. At stage right appears the constellation of Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer. Because Ophiuchus is himself masculine, and the serpent represents the archetypal 61

phallus as well as regeneration, by definition, his presence determines the stage right plane as "masculine" (M). Above the Serpent Bearer is the Summer Triangle, which Elizabethans knew was used by navigators for guidance (Clark 35). Shakespeare perhaps made a reference to this navigational practice in Much Ado About Nothing, when Margaret says to Beatrice, "If you not be tumed turk, there's no more sailing by the star" (Shakespeare in.iv.57). This position figures significantly in Theseus'/Oberon's stage geography in relationship to their actions which forward the plot of the play. In opposition to the masculine, stage left is the constellation of Virgo, the chaste maiden, designating the stage left plane as the "feminine" (F) realm. Upstage of Virgo is the constellation of the Hunting Dogs, who belong to Bootes the herdsman and chase the Great Bear and Little Bear throughout the woods (see these other constellations in Figure 2.18). The fact that the Hunting Dogs race through the celestial woods is important, because the woodland is associated with the persona of Virgo, the feminine, and also with the realm of Titania, the fairy queen. This is also the realm of Hippolyta, the AmazonQueen, who is not only chaste, but also a huntress who hunted "with Hercules and Cadmus once" (rV.i.11-2), hence her connection with the "Hunting Dogs."


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Figure 2.21: Draco-mythic constellation. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House.

Figure 2.22: Constellation Draco (emphasis added). 1999, Astronomy. 62

At the apex of these constellations is Draco (Figures 2.21-22), the dragon, the monster. Now dragons live in caves. In the constellated floor plan, this cave just happens to be Titania's bower, and the intersection or matrix where the masculine and feminine join, peak, climax . . . what you will. The cave represents a woman's womb. The significance of the constellation of the dragon at such a point is that it symbolizes the monstrous trick being played on Titania by Oberon: Oberon has his henchman Puck anoint Titania's sleeping eyes with a love potion. Upon awaking, she is overcome in a frenzy of love making with the first thing she sees: Bottom, an Athenian villager, transformed into an ass by Puck. As a floor plan to plot the action of the play in performance, the symbolism of the constellations thus appearing in opposition to one another manifests the incessant, archetypal struggle between the masculine and the feminine: Theseus/Oberon dominate stage rightthe "masculine" plane delineated by Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer and the Summer Triangle; and Titania/Hippolyta dominate stage leftthe plane delineated by Virgo and the Hunting Dogs. Draco, which symbolizes Titania's bower, is at the matrix upstage center, representing the intercourse of masculine and feminine, the alchemical coniunctio, the reconciliation of opposites. The apron of the stage reinforced as a crescent represents the cusp of the moon not yet visible and obscured by the misty night, whose negative waning energy murkily influences the Athenian townsfolk as well as the Athenian lovers and upon which their lunacy is compounded: they move back and forth between the masculine and feminine planes as the psychic confusion unfolds, and eventually joumey deeper into the wood and shadowy realm of the fairies/gods, upstage.


Thus, in applying the poetic alchemy of Shakespeare's cosmological mythos to Midsummer's floor plan, making "that which is below [. ..] like that which is above" (Singer 96), we can more concretely observe how the warring relationship between Theseus and Hippolyta results not only in the completion of their labyrinthine joumey towards oneness, but also in the harmony of all the lovers in the world of the play.



' Gary Jay Williams documents this well in Chapter One, "The Wedding-play Myth and the Dream in Full Play," Our Moonhght Revels (Iowa City: U of Iowa P 1997) 1-37. Alan Scott Weber, in Shakespeare's Cosmology, fully elucidates Shakespeare's knowledge of astronomy/astrology, gleaned more probably through the popular almanacs of the day rather than through the technical treatises of the period. McAlindon asserts that Shakespeare's knowledge of the cosmos was assimilated through the literary readings of his predecessors. CG. Abbot contends that Shakespeare was neither an astrologer nor an astronomer, but that "he made use of other men's beliefs in astrology, nevertheless, to impart mystery and awe to dramatic situations" (120). ^ During the Middle Ages, the quadrivium was the general body of knowledge in which every educated person was instructed: astronomy, arithmetic, geometry, and music. '' The quote, ''harmonia est discordia concors" is from a notation in a Renaissance illustration of the musical theorist Franchino Gafurio in De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum, 1518. According to Rudolph Wittkower, "Gafurio accepted Philolaos's Pythagorean definition of harmony, [.. .] and in a tmly Platonic spirit he regarded this principle of harmony as the basis of the macrocosm and microcosm, body and soul, painting, architecture, and medicine"; Philolaos was a student and transcriber of Pythagoras who defined harmony as "the unification of the composed manifold and the accordance of the discordant (cf. H. Diels Die Fragmente der Vorsokatiker, Berlin, 1934, I, p. 410, fragm. 10)." (117-8). Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism. (Chichester, West Sussex: Academic Editions, 1998). For a thorough reading of the mathematical implications of the "harmony of the spheres," refer to Jonathan Marks's article, "The Harmony of the Spheres," Yale Scientific Magazine Dec. 1967: 10-24. ^ McAhndon refers to Spitzer's work. Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1963) 9. * In the Pythagorean number system, odd numbers were considered masculine, even numbers, feminine. Peck states that 1, being the number of unity, was androgynousboth male and female (59). 2 was the first feminine number, 3 was the first masculine number, 4 the first feminine square; 5, the masculine 'marriage' number, uniting the first female number and the first male number by addition; 6, the first feminine marriage number, uniting 2 and 3 by multiplication; 8, the first feminine cube; 9, the first masculine square ("Pythagorean Number Symbolism." 12 Feb 2000. http;//>).


The 10 fundamental Pythagorean oppositions which express this 'universal dualism' are: hmited/unlimited; odd/even; one/many; right/left; masculine/feminine; rest/motion; straight/crooked; light/dark; good/evil; square/oblong (Gaskell 551). ^ i.e., Taurus=coagulation; Gemini=fixation; Pisces=transformation; Virgo=distillation (Liungman 51). ' Mercury=mercury; Mars= iron; Venus=copper; Jupiter=tin and zinc; Satum=lead (Liungman 52). '" Jung quotes Marcellin Berthelot, Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs, VI, V. 6. Paris, 1887-8 (Jung, Psychologv and Alchemy 161). Ciriot states, "The idea that one engenders two and two creates three is founded upon the premises that every entity tends to surpass its limits, or to confront itself with its opposite. Where there are two elements, the third appears as the union of the first two and then as three, in tum giving rise to the fourth number as the link between the first three and so on" (231; emphasis added). In Midsummer, the reconciliation of the fourth couple's (Oberon's and Titania's) opposition, is the link through which the other three couples oppositions may be reconciled. " OED. 2""^ Edition, vol. XVH. 913-4. Theriomorphic means "having the form of a beast," often in reference to "bestial gods" or "theriomorphic rituals."



Myth: The Fundamental Essence of the Archetype C Kerenyi, in his "Prolegomena" to Essays on a Science of Mythology: The Myth of the Divine Child and The Mysteries of Eleusis asks the question "What is mythology?" (Jung & Kerenyi, 2). The word myth means, "to put together," Kerenyi states, and is "the movement of [.. .] tales already well known but not unamenable to further reshaping [. . .] something solid, and yet mobile, substantial and yet not static, capable of transformation" (2). The images of myth are not merely linguistic, but primarily pictorial, stemming from man's unconscious. Both Jung and Kerenyi assert that myths are primordial images of primitive human phenomena, revealing the nature of man's soul. They arise through the poetry of mythology, and do not only possess meaning but also assign meaning through the function of an archetype, which is a '"representation of a motif [that] 'constellates' a dream or mythical symbol" (Doty 151). Most myths contain recurring archetypes of gods, supematural beings who represent projections of psychic phenomena, and primordial timeetemal time in which the archetypal image transcends time as well as place. We have seen through the astronomy of Midsummer and its numeric configurations how the play is intrinsically unified through a complex symbol system whose myths manifest archetypes. Jung states that "All the mythologized processes of nature, such as summer and winter, the phases of the moon, the rainy seasons, and so forth, are in no sense allegories of these objective occurrences; rather they are symbolic 67

expressions of the inner, unconscious drama of the psyche" (Archetypes 6). We have seen how the natural processes of astronomy, the progression of time, and the seasons are an elemental part of the structure of Midsummer. As expressions of the unconscious, these natural archetypes are numinous, and mystical, and should be regarded symbolically, inherent with multiple meanings, rather than literally. Archetypes revealed in the artist's poetry give us insight into the psychology of the human condition. While archetypes appear in a given individual or community, in a given culture, at a given moment in time, they also transcend that particular time or culture by virtue of their trans-historical resonance as symbol within the psyche. The significance in analyzing the mythic images or archetypes in poetic literature is expressed by James P Driscoll in Identity in Shakespearean Drama, as he comments on Jung's conceptions about how archetypes motivate the artist/poet to shape characters. He states: The essential artist, [Jung] insists, is an unwitting mouthpiece for the psychic secrets of his time, and often remains as unconscious as a sleepwalker. Since he lives closer to both the archetypal realm and the Zeitgeist than do ordinary men who, circumscribed by their social functions, are confined to life's surface, the artist can direcfly apprehend the tme nature of the cultural and psychic forces he encounters and translate his vision into art form. Thus the poetical character makes archetypal visions accessible to all men. [. ..] Because the artist can speak the language of dreams directly through image and symbol, he enjoys a peculiar power to create myths and identities that possess an archetypal import and fascination that philosophical reasoning cannot equal. (10, 11) Archetypes, often described as universals, bridge time and culture as they continually resurface in the collective unconscious, which, according to Jung, has contents and modes of behavior that are more or less the same everywhere and in all individuals, ft is, in other words, identical in all men, and thus constitutes a common psychic substrate of a supra-personal nature which is present in every one of us. (Archetypes 4)


Through the collective unconscious, "the repository of man's experience" (Analytical Psychology, 93), the archetypes constellate similar meanings for everyone. Harold Bloom asserts that Shakespeare's "universal canon" transcends time and cultures in just this way, showing Elizabethans as well as postmodemists what it means to be human (Human, Bloom 17). Sitansu Maitra contends that through the analysis of archetypes as symbol in poetry, Jung has provided a way for us to understand Shakespeare's creative genius beyond "the [Freudian] sterility of personal complexes of the creative artist into the wide open of the collective unconscious where the human race meets" (64, 73). From Jung's perspective, contrary to general post-modem thought, the artist is connected by her/his very nature to the psychic pulse of humanity, and functions as mythmaker and storyteller within a culture through her/his work. Through the collective unconscious, the artist is able to access common ideas and iconswhat Shakespeare might refer to as the "airy nothing[s]" (V.i.l6)of imagination, and gives them a "local habitation and a name" (V.i. 17) in the form of the artwork. For Jung, the visionary poet is a mythological 'fundamentalist' who, by immersion in the self, dives down to his own foundations, founds his world. He builds it up for himself on a foundation where everything is an out-flowing, a sprouting and springing up'original' in the fullest sense of the word ["origin" comes from the Latin, origi, "to rise"], and consequenfly divine. (Kerenyi, Mythology 9) In Midsummer, Shakespeare's blending of pagan mythos and Christian rites formulates an original tale or myth that is circumscribed in the marriage ritual. According to Kerenyi, "Ceremonial is the translation of a mythological value into an act" (10). The mythological drama, as such, constitutes a symbolic joumey from psychic origins to wholeness via ritual, mediated through the symbolic functioning of the archetypes. 69

When mythic archetypes appear in a ritual application (as in the rites of passage in Midsummer), they function to compensate for "deficient and distorted conscious attitudes in the traditions and dogmas that compose a 'cultural canon,'[heralding] momentous shifts in [the] culture's consciousness" (Lewisberg 11). The work of the archetypes in this way resufts in some form of cultural transformation. For example, Keith Sagar asserts in "A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Marriage of Heaven and Hell," that Midsummer constituted Shakespeare's attack on the Puritans' anathema to the "wholeness of nature" (42), which signaled the dis-integration of the Neo-Platonic, Ptolemaic worldview. As such, Sagar contends that Shakespeare appropriates archetypes that perform sacred functions, restoring harmony, not necessarily according to religious law, but according to natural law. The compensatory function of the Midsummer's mythic archetypes in this instance results in the alchemical reconciliation of opposites (the coniunctio), in which what is considered base in nature and human relations is transformed through the restoration of nature to an equitable balance. This occurs not in spite of the oppositions present in the play, but because of them. In accord with McAlindon's ideas conceming "the discordant concord of a natural order whose governing forces are Love and Strife, Mars and Venus" (10), Jung states, "Submission to the fundamental contrariety of human nature amounts to an acceptance of the fact that the psyche is at cross purposes with itself (Transference 143). The paradox of discordant concord is also seen at work in the archetypal symbolism of alchemy. The opus of esoteric alchemy is not only derived from nature, but is also a work of nature. Through symbol, the opus magnum embodies the


essence of reconnecting one's psyche with the worid, and ultimately, with the birth of the self, "the container and organizer of all opposites" (Jung, Transference 157). Jung contends that the alchemical image of the coniunctio is archetypal, an "a priori image that occupies a prominent place in the history of man's mental development," and has its sources in both pagan and Christian alchemy (Transference 5). An examination of the mythological archetypes of Midsummer will reveal Shakespeare's poetic use of medieval alchemy. This examination will also unveil alchemy's bridge to the present day through Jung's appropriation of alchemical archetypes in the analysis of the personality, in which "we are confronted with pre-conscious processes which, in the form of more or less well-formed fantasies, gradually pass over into the conscious mind, or become conscious as dreams, or, lastly, are made conscious through the method of active imagination" (Jung & Kerenyi, Mythology 78).

The Archetypal Mythology of the Play The setting of Midsummer is in itself mythic: in legendary Athens, Greece. Yet, because the play's archetypes display typologically cultural themes, theoretically Athens itself could be any city, and the wood could be any wood. Through a mythological reading of Midsummer, we establish a formal unity of time, place, and action; time which could be 'dream time'-or no time, a place which could be anyplace, and action-which functions transformatively, as primordial time, in relationship to the play's archetypes. Some of the primary archetypes in Midsummer are revealed in the elemental dualisms of the play, seen in the following pairings: 71

Masculine Theseus Oberon Day Sun Conscious Animus Reason Dry Heaven Above Light City Order

Feminine Hippolyta Titania Night Moon Unconscious Anima Imagination Moist Earth Below Darkness Woods Chaos/madness

According to Peter Dronke, because Shakespeare, like the medieval poets, saw the worid as an integrated whole, he could metaphorically make such "hidden comparisons (collationes occultae), [and] like the prophet, realise something that was 'both within and without"'(x). If we view the Athenian court as a symbol of reason and consciousness, and the fairy wood as a representative of imagination and the unconscious, we see a paradigm of the archetypal stmcture of the psyche begin to appear: the animus (the masculine principle: Theseus-Oberon) and anima (the feminine principle: HippolytaTitania) in opposition; and the unconscious (the chaos of the wood/the fairies) mpturing through to consciousness (the Athenian court:the royals), signaling the dis-integration of the personahty (the world of the play). Sagar contends that Shakespeare's fairies were not to be constmed literally, but figuratively, as portents of inner psychic darkness (37). Yet, in Shakespeare's day, fairy lore was very popular, and many came to see Midsummer just for the fairies (Losey 197). In 17* and 18* Century reconstmctions of the play, it was even called The Fairies (Rolfe 14). The Elizabethan fairies are obviously mythological characters, yet Shakespeare 72

cross-fertilized them with the legends of ancient Greece, in the story of Theseus and Hippolyta. When the play was performed in Elizabethan times, however, the ancient Greek court took on the trappings of the Elizabethan court, so the use of popular faines made sense, and most likely made them more accessible to Shakespeare's audience. As functioning archetypes, however, Shakespeare's fairies may be read as equivalents of the Olympian figures and gods. As one of the sources of Shakespeare's inspiration for his fairy play, McAlindon cites Chaucer's appropriation of the MarsVenus medieval myth, rooted in antiquity, and equates Shakespeare's fairies to "Chaucer's planetary gods" (50). While Oberon, Titania, and Puck may be equated with the gods of Olympus, the fairies themselves can be seen as nymphs, dryads, and satyrs. Upon viewing the characters within the same mythological sphere, archetypes are made manifest, and their relationships become clearer. Shakespeare appropriates the Greek mlers, Theseus and Hippolyta, from the Greek legends via Chaucer's Knight's Tale. In the majority of the productions of Midsunamer, the characters of Theseus/Oberon, and Titania/Hippolyta (as well as many of the minor characters) have been double-cast, meaning that one person played both roles. Psychologically, this practice offers the thought that Theseus/Oberon and Titania/Hippolyta are different sides of the same coin. In their first encounter in the play, this may be seen as Titania accuses Oberon of being Hippolyta's lover, and Oberon accuses Titania of loving Theseus, immediately fostering a connection between the fairy King and Queen with the Athenian royals: Titania: Why art thou here. Come from the farthest step of India But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,

Your buskin 'd mistress and your warrior love. To Theseus must be wedded, and you come To give their bed joy and prosperity? Oberon: How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania, Glance at my credit with Hippolyta, Knowing I know thy love to Theseusl (fl.i.68-76; emphasis added)

Shakespeare's play stmcturally facilitates double casting, which also seems to suggest dual aspects of each character.

Theseus/Ophiuchus: Oberon/Poseidon In Midsummer. Theseus is a lighthearted skeptic, who has put aside his warrior's sword to woo Hippolyta, and who operates best by the light and reason of day. In legendary Greece, Theseus was a hero of Athens prior to the Trojan War. Theseus's father, Aegeus, was childless, and he consulted the oracle at Delphi who advised him to keep his "wine skin sealed until he reached Athens" lest he die of grief there (Stapleton, 12). However, on his retum to Athens, Aegeus visited his friend King Pittheus. Aegeus revealed to Pittheus the oracle's message. Pittheus, knowing that a son of Aegeus would be great, got Aegeus dmnk and had his daughter Aethra share her bed with him. Aethra consequently became pregnant with Theseus. Aegeus left Aethra in Troezen and told her to raise the child quietly, with Pittheus as his guardian. Theseus, however, was told that Poseidon was his father, and he named Poseidon as his protector. Theseus was known as a strong and accomplished wrestler, and also as the killer of the Minotaur and conqueror of its labyrinth. Theseus eventually retumed to Athens to claim his birthright, and after many other adventures, became King of Athens. In due time, he conquered the Amazons


who attacked Athens, taking their queen, Hippolyta (one of his many legendary female conquests), as his wife.

Figure 3.1: The mascuhne planemythic constellations. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House.

Figure 3.2: Constellation, Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer (emphasis added). 1999, Astronomy.

In relationship to the masculine plane in the play's star chart (Figures 2.20, 3.1-2), Theseus as a wrestler may be connected with Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, who appears to be constraining the serpent. While Ophiuchus is not one of the twelve zodiacal signs, he nevertheless was quite significant in Shakespeare's metaphoric view of the cosmos. Ophiuchus lies along the ecliptic, or the path of the sun. In medieval astronomy, while Ophiuchus was not regarded as a proper zodiacal constellation for purposes of astrological readings. Serpens, the serpent, which Ophiuchus bears, was quite important. The constellation Serpens consists of two segments, the head of the serpent, or dragon (Serpens caput), and the tail of the serpent (Serpens cauda). They were well


known in Chaucer's day, and recorded in the tables and calendars which noted the moon's cycles (North 95-6).


u... *o ^nfa

k. '''"~>il/ . .....""""


Figure 3.3: Serpens cauda/caput in relationship to solar/lunar conjunctions (Roob 78). M. Maier, Septimana philosophica, Frankfurt. 1616.

Figure 3.4: Serpens caudal caput and Ophiuchus along the ecliptic (emphasis added). 1999, Astronomy,

Twice a month, the moon on its own path passes through these two pointsintersecting the ecliptic: once at the "moon's north node," or Serpens caput; the second time, through the "moon's south node," or Serpens cauda (Liungman 36). Eclipses take place when the "appropriate conjunctions or oppositions occur at points sufficiently near to one or other of the nodes of the Moon's orbit, the head or tail of the Dragon [Serpens cauda/caput]" (North 97; Figures 3.3-4). Thus, when the paths of the sun (Sol) and moon (Luna) intersect, a conjunction (coniunctio) occurs. This is the celestial conjunction of opposites and macrocosmically represents the primary transforming theme of Midsummer. North also cites Shakespeare's association of the "Dragon's tail with lechery" (King Lear I.ii.35), and the human libido (450), elements of both which raise 76

their heads (or tails) in Midsummer: in the calumnies of Oberon and Titania (n.i.61-76), and in the lovers' libidinal romp in the forest. The importance of calculating these intersections was due to the fact that medievalists believed that conjunctions and oppositions of the sun and moon "are determinants of the weather, and even of certain events in human history" (North 100). This influence is obviously represented by Shakespeare in Midsummer in the unseasonal rains and the celebration of the royal marriage. According to North, blindness in one eye was "a debility of the moon," and blindness in two eyes was possible when the sun and moon were in conjunction or opposition (450). In Midsummer, Shakespeare, through Helena, speaks poetically of the blindness of love: Things base and vile, holding no quantity. Love can transpose to form and dignity: Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind; Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste: Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste. And therefore is Love said to be a child. Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd. As waggish boys, in game, themselves forswear. So the boy Love is perjured everywhere. (I.ii.231-241) This blindness results in multitudinous animist, or bestial, allusions throughout the play: Robin Goodfellow, Hobgoblin, Puck neighs "in likeness of a filly foal" (n.i.46); Titania may be enchanted by a "lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, meddling monkey, or busy ape" (E.i.180-1); or "ounce [lynx], or cat, or bear, or pard, or boar with brisfled hair" (E.ii.29-30); Helena proffers to Demetrius that she be his "spaniel; [. . .] I will fawn on you" (E.i.203-4), and as "Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase; the dove pursues the griffin, the mild hind makes speed to catch the tiger," so Helena pursues Demetrius (E.i.231-3);


In Titania's bower, the "snake throws her enamell'd skin" (E.i. 255); Helena is "ugly as a bear" and Demetrius is a "monster" (E.ii.93, 96); Hermia awakens from sleep, dreaming of a "serpent" (E.ii. 144-149); Bottom is transformed into an ass (El.i); Titania with a "monster is in love (m.n.6); Hermia calls Demetrius, "dog! cur! [. . .] a worm, an adder [.. ] serpent" (m.n.65, 71-3); Lysander calls Hermia, "cat [. ..] burr [...] serpent," "you minimus, of hindering knot-grass made; you bead, you acom"(IE.ii.260-l; 328-8); In the final waking of the lovers. Puck promises, "Jack shall have Jill, nought shall go ill; the man shall have his mare again, and all shall be weft." (IE.n.461-3). Jung asserts, "The more anthropomorphic and theriomorphic the terms become, the more obvious is the part played by creative fantasy and thus by the unconscious," as they give rise to archetypes (Transference 3). In Midsummer, these bestial references suggest the primitive nature of the conflicts they embody, which occur primarily in the woods, or the realm of the unconscious. As in the case of many of the ancient constellations, Ophiuchus also has an earthly counterpart: Asclepius, the mythic founder of medicine, the doctor of the Argonauts. Legend has it that a serpent, entwined around a staff, bit and killed a man. However, another serpent appeared, bearing herbs, which Asclepius used to restore the man's life. Because of this, the serpent became sacred to medicine as a symbol of regeneration. Asclepius was said to have brought many people back to life, including the son of King Minos of Crete. When Asclepius attempted to revive Orion who had been bitten by the scorpion, Pluto complained to Zeus that Asclepius would rob Pluto of the


entire population of Hades. Zeus agreed: afraid of Asclepius' healing power, he ended Asclepius's life with a thunderbolt, and set him in the heavens with a new name, Ophiuchus, where he bears the serpent to this day (Dixon-Kennedy 228-9). According to Meadows, in Milton's time, the constellation Asclepius/Ophiuchus was referred to as Serpentarius (57). This legend connects Ophiuchus not only to the chemical nature of alchemy, but also to the serpentine symbol of Hermes/Mercuriusthe agent and vessel of the opus magnum. In the microcosm of Midsummer. Oberon's hermetic agent is Puck. In the heavens, Ophiuchus's serpent (Serpens cauda/caput) represents Hermes's/Mercurius's role in the alchemical symbolism in the play's macrocosm.




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1 s-

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X "'


Figure 3.5: Summer Triangle/Lyra. Mythic constellations. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House.


Figure 3.6: Summer Triangle/Lyra (emphasis added). 1999, Astronomy.

In Figures 3.5-6, above the constellation Ophiuchus in the masculine plane is the constellation of the Summer Triangle, used by manners for guidance. Using the astronomy of the play as an archetypal schema, the most obvious deific counterpart to Oberon, connected to Theseus, seems to be Poseidon, son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and brother of Zeus and Demeter. Long before Poseidon was god of the sea, he was called the "earth-shaker," the god who held the earth and could produce earth tremors 79

(Stapleton 182). He was also associated with the earth's fertility, the waters, rain and rivers, which kept the earth alive. Thus, he was also worshiped as the god of fresh water. In Midsummer, the ability of the fairy king and queen to upset the course of nature is shown in the unseasonable, torrential floods resulting from their quarrel (E.i.81-117). In Act EI.ii.388-395, Oberon states that he has "dallied with the love of the moming herself," as the sun (which also alchemically suggests the masculine principle) rose over the sea. Again we see the connection of Oberon/Poseidon with water, fertility rites, and the ocean in particular. In Midsummer, fertility rites are evident in the rites of May. As Poseidon-Hippios (Lord of Horses), Poseidon also brought with him the ancient association with fertility as the god of the herdsmen and horse-keepers of a migrating race. When Demeter at one time changed herself into a mare and slipped in among the herds of Arcadia, Poseidon spotted the transformation, and tumed himself into a horse as well, joined the herd, and mounted Demeter, which resulted in the birth of the steed Arion, the steed of Adrastus, King of Argos (Stapleton 66). If Oberon is thus equated with Poseidon-Hippios, might not Demeter also be equated with Titania? Is it any wonder, then, that Puck, being the agent of Poseidon-Hippios, tumed Titania's lover. Bottom, into an ass, parodying Titania's archetypal relationship with Oberon?

Hippolyta/Virgo: Titania/Demeter The constellation Virgo dominates the feminine plane of the star chart (Figures 3.7-8). As such, Virgo, the maiden represents the chaste Amazon, Hippolyta. Hippolyta was a wanior maiden, who fought on horseback and was a huntress. Here we see a dual connection with the constellation of the Hunting Dogs, to Hippolyta, the huntress, and to 80

the hunting grounds, the woods, which Titania rules. The Amazons' origin was probably derived from the priestesses of the Moon Goddess (Artemis/Diana) who bore arms.


Figure 3.7: Feminine plane-mythic constellations. 1988 Stephen Marchesi, Random House.

Figure 3.8: Constellations Virgo and Hunting Dogs (emphasis added). 1999, Astronomy.

Titania's name means "descended from the Titans," Cronus and Rhea, whose progeny were the Olympian gods (Herbert 41). Titania has been loosely linked in Elizabethan mythology with Artemis-twin sister to Apollo, the Greek counterpart of Diana, whose throne was a silver crescent moon (Bmeton 61; Figure 3.9).

Figure 3.9: Figure of the feminine archetype, Luna, represented in the shape of the crescent. Codex Urbanus Latinus 899. 15* century. (Jung, Psychology and Alchemy 405)


The association of the feminine principle with the moon is ancient, and incorporates figures from Egyptian mythology (Isis), as well as to Demeter (the ancient earth mother), Diana/Artemis, and the Virgin Mary. Both chastity and fertility are attributes associated with the moon as feminine archetypes, especially in relation to the control of fluids, such as the tides, menstmation, and semen (Breuton 53,153-4). Water is primarily a symbol of the mother, of the womb, and also of the unconscious. Jung states that the unconscious "can be regarded as the mother or matrix of consciousness" (Transformation 218-19). The floods that occur unseasonably in Midsummer have dual significance: that of indicating the psychic disturbance in the unbalanced anima of Titania in relationship to the changeling boy, and that of serving as the watery womb of transformation for the lovers in the forest. The nature of the moon also suggests transformation: birth, growth, death, and rebirth, by virtue of its monthly cycles. The changing lunar phases represent the three aspects of the feminine: the virgin/maiden (waxing moon), the mother (full moon), and the crone (waning moon). The primary form of the anima is that of the mother, although at different times of life it may assume the form of the maiden or crone (hence the tripartite aspect of the goddess seen in the phases of the moon). However, Artemis/Diana has no power over the seasons, as Titania seems to have. Therefore, I propose that Titania's Greek counterpart is Demeter, sister of Zeus and Poseidon. Demeter presided over the earth and its fertility as the ancient goddess of the fruitful earth and the Eleusinian mysteries (Stapleton 65-6). The myth of Demeter and her daughter, Persephone (also known as Kore), also embodies the triple aspect of the feminine archetype: Kore, the maiden; Demeter, the mother; and Hecate, the crone82

associated with the darkness of the moon before rising, and its death before setting (Brueton 89). The cyclical change of seasons is represented in the story of Demeter and Kore, in which Kore was stolen by Hades and transported to the underworid for four months of the year. During those four months, the earth was barren, and only with the retum of Kore was fmitfulness restored. The tripartite goddess-Kore/Demeter/Hecatebecame, like the moon, a symbol of regeneration. The multiple associations of ancient goddesses with the moon are shown in Figure 3.10.



Figure 3.10: Elustration of "the pagan goddesses as emanations of the lunar powers" (Roob 64). A. Kircher. Obeliscus Pamphilius, Rome. 1650. In Midsummer, the moon's influence is directly connected to Titania and the supematural realm of the woods-to which Hennia and Lysander "steal away," which acts as both tomb and womb for the lovers, under the influence of Hecatequeen of the underworid. Interestingly enough, one of Hecate's pnmary symbols was the snake (Aronson 227), and the snake or serpent also played an important role in initiation ceremonies-many of which occuned at the stage of the new moon, which was a symbol 83

of new beginnings (Bmeton 37, 123). In Midsummer. Hennia awakens from a dream calling for help from Lysander: Help me, Lysander, help me! Do thy best To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast! Ay, me, for pity! What a dream was here! Lysander, look how I do quake with fear. Methought a serpent ate my heart away. (E.ii.144-148). Puck refers to the moon goddesses, reigned in by Hecate, as he tells us of "we fairies that do run by the triple Hecate's team, from the presence of the sun, following darkness like a dream" (V.i.369-372). The latent dangers of darkness, found in the chaos of the wood, are also aspects of Hecate's negative but regenerative influence. In Midsummer, Hermia and Helena, as virginal maidens, represent Kore. Demeter, the mother, is represented in Titania's connection with the changeling boy, as well as with the fairies' procreative blessing of the bridal beds. Hippolyta, however, is connected to the self-sufficient aspect of the moon goddess, Diana/Artemis. June Singer asserts that the Amazon, who identified with Artemis, signifies an imbalance in Hippolyta's ability to integrate the animus with her anima. Neither is Titania very far removed from Hippolyta in this aspect, for in her reluctance to give up the changeling boy, she embodies the "classic conflict between a matriarchal society, which seeks control of the male children, and a patriarchal society, which seeks control of the females" (Singer 48). Because of the significant role the changeling boy plays in the balance of anima/animus in the psychic worid of Midsummer, we will now tum our attention to the archetype represented by the changeling boythat of the primordial child.


The Changeling Boy: The Primordial Child In Midsummer, the changeling boy is silent as well as nameless. As a character, he lacks a voice, and his role, while retained in the nan-ative of the play, is often visibly cut in many productions. However, his role is central to the poet's artistic purposes in the play: the changeling child is the cause of the central conflict of the interior fairy play, and until this conflict in the play is resolved, no other conflict can be reconciled, in either wood or city. The changeling boy, as written by Shakespeare, is imagistic in nature, and as an image his character can immediately be perceived as symbolmythically, archetypally, and alchemically. Mythologically, the changeling boy in Elizabethan times represents a healthy human child who has been stolen by fairies from a family and replaced with a wizened fairy substitute; thus, the child has been "exchanged," and is a "changeling" (Matthews 318). The child can thus be regarded as stolen, then adopted, by supra-natural beings, and translated into the world of the divine. In Midsummer, the changeling boy is situated imagistically as a surrogate son to the fairy queen, Titania. In the fairy kingdom, the child's primary caregiver has obviously been Titania, as mother. Puck (perhaps as the fairy thief) gives an account of the changeling child's history: he was "stol'n from an Indian king" (E.i.23). Titania recounts, "His mother was a votress of my order" (E.i. 123). Interesting that this child was stolen from a mother who was dedicated to Titania, perhaps a member of her cult. Though her child was exchanged, the changeling's natural mother still served Titania faithfully, and Titania reciprocates her faithfulness by raising the boy:


In the spiced Indian air, by night Full often hath she gossip'd by my side; And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands. Marking th'embarked traders on the flood: When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind; Which she, with pretty and wit swimming gait Following (her womb then rich with my young squire). Would imitate, and sail upon the land To fetch me trifles, and retum again As from a voyage rich with merchandise. But she, being mortal, of that boy did die; And for her sake do I rear up her boy; And for her sake I will not part with him. (E.i.124-138) Titania also refers to the child as her "young squire," in contrast to Oberon's referral to the boy as "henchman" (E.i.121). She desires the child to remain in her service, and does not to transfer him to Oberon's. Titania and Oberon never refer to the child as an infant (the age such children are usually stolen), but call him "child" and "boy." They do not specify the boy's age, but according to Puck, he must be at the age of male initiation (the onset of puberty, when one apprentices as a page to a knight), as "jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train to trace the forests wild" (E.i.24-4), to be his "henchman" or page. The libidinal tones here, for both Titania and Oberon, are latent, but the primary idea seems to be that the boy is the crux of the power stmggle between the king and queen, which revolves around the initiation of the boy, either into the masculine or feminine realmto be "henchman" for Oberon, or to be "squire" for Titania. Titania's connection with Hippolyta/Diana/Artemis and the constellation Virgo is evident. In the conflict surrounding the changeling boy we see Titania renounce, like the Amazon, "the purely feminine nature of woman as exemplified by Demeter," and adopt 86

"a masculine component as [the] dominating element in her way of being" (Singer 46), which is characterized by the Amazon devotion to the huntress/virgin goddess Diana/Artemis. As she identifies with the power of the masculine (seeking control over the masculine in her desire to control the changeling boy), Titania "negates the capacity to relate lovingly" and becomes, literally, like the Amazon, "one-sided, and consequently she is the victim of the very attribute she had tried to overwhelm" (47). Titania also renounces her fecund/fertile nature, inhibiting not only her matrimonial intimacy with Oberonshe has "forswom his bed and company" (E.i.62)but also perhaps her feminine capacity to bless the procreative issue of the married lovers: To the best bride-bed will we. Which by us shall blessed be; And the issue there create Ever shall be fortunate. (V.i.389-392). Similar to the changeling child of Midsummer, Kerenyi states that the primordial child god is "usually an abandoned foundling," the victim of some supematural discord or trickery (Jung & Kerenyi, Mythology 27). The parents of the child are often absent, or unknown to the child. In Midsummer, the changeling child has been stolen from his natural father, and his natural mother is dead. The child, who lives in the immortal, primeval worid as a grown youth, not an infant, is essentially an orphan while still a "cherished son of the gods" (28). The changeling boy lives in the supematural worid of the fairies, as the fairy queen's favored "squire." The Greek equivalent to the changeling boy as divine sunogate child is seen direcfly in the young Theseus, who is told that Poseidon is his father, connecting him to the ocean realm. Kerenyi contends, "Like the womb of the mother, boundless water is an


organic part of the image of the Primordial Child" (49). Water, and the ocean in particular, is considered the primal womb or utems. The ship is also an image of the womb. In Midsummer, Titania and the changeling boy's mother are connected to the ocean: they communed by the sea on "Neptune's yellow sands, marking th' embarked traders on the flood" (E.i. 126-7). Titania describes the changeling boy's pregnant mother as a ship, whose "sails conceive and grow big-bellied with the wanton wind," and with "swimming gait [. . .] would imitate, and sail upon the land" (E.i. 128-9; 31). The mythologem, or mythic image, of the divine child, however, is even more ancient, primordial, and has its roots in Apollo and Hermes. Apollo also had an affinity with the sea, being bom on Delos, a floating island; he is also named Apollo Delphiniosafter the dolphin, whose Greek name means "uterus" (46-50). Delphi, the seat of Apollo's oracular shrine, also means "womb" and was considered the center, or "navel" of the earth (Stapleton 64). Interestingly enough, the constellation Delphinus (the Dolphin) also appears in the masculine plane of the constellations, left of the Summer Triangle (see Figure 2.18). In Midsummer, the essence of fertility and procreation is inherently bound up in the relationship between Oberon (as Poseidon-Hippios and lord of waters), Titania (as Demeter, with control over the seasons, and influence over the tides as an aspect of the moon goddess), and the changehng boy, as divine primordial child, issue of the worid's watery womb. The issue of fertility represented in Midsummer becomes a primary issue in the balance of power in the guise of the changeling child. In several early Greek tales, the primordial child is often seen riding upon a dolphin. In Midsummer, Oberon refers to


a "mermaid on a dolphin's back," as he recounts the story of the origin of the flower, "love-in-idleness" to Puck: My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememb'rest Since once I sat upon a promontory. And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath That the mde sea grew civil at her song And certain stars shot madly from their spheres To hear the sea-maid's music? (E.i. 148-154) The image of the changeling boy has been substituted, exchanged in this primordial image for a siren, who carries sexual power. Her erotic, feminine song mesmerizes the rude, masculine sea, with deadly implications: to yield to the "dulcet, harmonious" siren's song portends death, as seen in the stars that hurtle recklessly, "madly from their spheres" to hear the siren's enchanting music. As a death omen, the siren is also related to Hecate, as mortals who yield to her song are carried to the underworld. This delphic image also serves as a waming: the siren is mounted upon the dolphin, showing power over the utems, over procreation. In Midsummer, Oberon confirms this idea as he relates Cupid's vain attempts to pierce the heart of the "fair vestal," the "imperial votress," whose love-shaft misses its mark, "quenched in the chaste beams of the watery moon" (the power of the virgin moon goddess Diana/Artemis is dominant), and protected by the "sea-maid's music," the virgin passes on, unscathed by Cupid's love-prick: That very time I saw (but thou couldst not). Flying between the cold moon and the earth, Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took At a fair vestal, throned by the west. And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts. But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft 89

Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon; And the imperial votress passed on. In maiden meditation, fancy-free. (E.i. 155-164) Oberon views the missed target as unnatural: such a shot should have pierced "a hundred thousand hearts." So also does Oberon view Titania's hold on the changeling boy as unnatural. As his an-ows continue to glance off Titania's defenses, Oberon devises to use the juice of the flower transforaied by Cupid's love-shaft to mesmerize his queen, and effect the ultimate exchange of the changeling child, before restoring her to her natural state, in conjugal amity: Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell: It fell upon a litfle westem flower. Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound; And maidens call it 'love-in-idleness.' Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee once. Will make or man or woman madly dote Upon the next live creature that it sees. [. ..] And ere I take this charm from off her sight (As I can take it with another herb) I'll make her render up her page to me. (E.i.165-172; 183-5) The work of Cupid in this passage, while passive in the narrative, is yet bound up in the figure of Hermes, another primordial child. Hermes was bom in a cave (another symbol for the womb), and his symbol is an upright "wood or stone, the 'herm,'" a naked phallus (Kerenyi, Mythology 52-3). Associated with Hermes is another primordial child, Eros (of whom Cupid is his Roman descendent). Eros is the god of love, thievery, and affairs. The role of Eros in Midsummer is evident not only in the underlying theme of fertility, but in affections stolen (Lysander's 'theft' of Hermia's love), and affairs (Oberon and Titania's). Eros is connected to Hermes through Aphrodite. Kerenyi states: Aphrodite and Eros go together as essentially concomitant forces or principles. Eros, the divine child, is Aphrodite's natural companion and 90

consort. But if the masculine and feminine aspects of the nature common to both Aphrodite and Eros be comprised in one figure, this figure immediately becomes Hermes and Aphrodite rolled into one: Hermaphroditos. This bisexual being has its genealogical place in the Olympian hierarchy as the child of Aphrodite and Hermes. [. ..] the hermaphrodite is a primitive type of divine image. (54) As has been discussed eariier, the hermaphrodite, or androgyne, as archetype "exists as a potential of being for every human being who undertakes the quest of bringing it [balance between the masculine and feminine] into realization" (Singer 236; brackets, mine). While the changeling boy is a fertile representation of the power stmggle between the masculine and feminine elements in Midsummer, the potentiality for individuation represented by the archetype of the primordial child signifies the potentiality for change within the psyche. This constitutes nothing less than a portent of an epiphany (Kerenyi 52). The fact that the primordial child is also associated with oracular Apollo and Hermes also embodies the changeling boy as a signifier of a potential future, of enlightenment. The primordial child signifies as a mle an anticipation of future developments, even though at first sight it may seem like a retrospective configuration. In the individuation process, it anticipates the figure that comes from the synthesis of conscious and unconscious elements in the personality. It is therefore a symbol which unites the opposites; a mediator, bringer of healing, that is, one who makes whole. (Jung & Kerenyi, Mythology 83) The child represents the source of the conflict within the ego, and also represents the potential fmit of the synthesis of masculine (animus) and feminine (anima), the self The personality is integrated when the animus and anima have been harmoniously assimilated into the other as one. In Midsummer, the power stmggle over the changeling boy represents the conflict between the animus (Theseus) and his anima (Titania). Until this primal conflict is resolved, there can be no hannony in either fairy wood or Athenian 91

court. In the process of individuation, where the reconciliation of animus and anima occurs, the archetype of the trickster appears as the agent of transfonnation.

Trickster: Puck/Hermes/Mercurius In the mythical Greek setting of the play, it would be fitting for Puck, as Oberon's mischievous sprite and agent of love's follies, to personify the character of one of the satyrs: the bestial tutors of Dionysus who were both lewd and wise, the brothers of nymphs, and identified with male sexuality. Indeed, woodcuttings from the Elizabethan era show Puck rendered in the satyric image (Figure 3.11).

Figure 3.11: Satyric Puck. (Rolfe 116). Woodcut from The Mad Pranks and Many Jests of Robin Goodfellow, London. 1628. Reginald Scot, in The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), gives a sampling of the fairy lore of the Elizabethans: Our mothers' maids have so terrified us with an ugly devil having homs on his head, fire in his mouth, and a tail in his breech, eyes like a basin, fangs like a dog, claws like a bear, a skin like a Niger, and a voice roaring like a lion. [. . .] and they have so fraied us with bull beggars, spints, 92

witches, urchins, elves, hags, fairies, satyrs. Pans, fauns, sylens, Kit-withthe-Canstick, Tritons, centaurs, dwarfs, giants, imps, clacars, conjurors, nymphs, changelings, Incubus, Robin Goodfellow, the spoome, the Mare, the Man in the Oak, the Hell wain, the Firedrake, the Puckle, Tom Thumb, Hobgoblin, Tom Tumbler, Boneless, and such other bugs, that we are afraid of our own shadows. (86) Puck also operates with a dual character: that of mischievously malicious Puck, Oberon's agent, and the other of the more hamiless jokester, Robin Goodfellow. Rene Girard states that "the goblin belongs to a type of minor deities that anthropologists call 'tricksters,' [they are] simultaneously bad and good. The good trickster always makes up for the damage that he has done in his capacity as a bad trickster" (237). Jung concurs, that psychologically the role Puck plays is undoubtedly that of the trickster: A curious combination of typical trickster motifs can be found in the alchemical figure of Mercurius; for instance, his fondness for sly jokes and malicious pranks, his powers as a shape-shifter, his dual nature, half animal, half divine, his exposure to all kinds of tortures, and last but not least-his approximation to the figure of a saviour. These qualities make Mercurius seem like a daemonic being resurrected from primitive times, older even than the Greek Hermes. (Archetypes 255) The bestial image that Robin/Puck as trickster manifests stems from ancient superstitions, and was indicative of the animist frame of mind (towards the occurrence and reading of supra-natural phenomenon) in Elizabethan folklore (Herbert 65-81). In Midsummer, the chaos in the woods manifests the animist view of the world in which a "bush [may be] supposed a bear" (V.i.23). However, Puck's dual, mutable nature also suggests that he is more than man or beast: he operates as a counterpart to the Greek god Hermes and the Roman god Mercurius who were messenger of the gods, as Puck is the messenger of Oberon, or Philostrate the messenger of Theseus. In some productions, the


character of Puck, Oberon's minister, has been double-cast with that of Philostrate, Theseus's minister. It may be plausible to associate Puck with Hermes/Mercurius because of his supematural powers: his ability to shape-shift Through bog, through bush, through brake, through briar. Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire; And neigh, and bark, and gmnt, and roar, and bum. Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every tum. (EH.i. 102-6) to travel at light speed. .. I'll put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes! (E.i.175) to manipulate the air into mist.. . Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night; The starry welkin cover thou anon With drooping fog, as black as Acheron (lE.ii.355-7) and to transform mortals. .. That shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort [. . .] An ass's nole I fixed on his head. (EI.ii.13,17) Hermes as an infant made the first lyre out of a tortoise shell, which he gave to Apollo. In the constellation of the Summer Triangle is the first-magnitude star Vega, which is in the constellation of Lyra, which further connects Puck to Hermes (Figure 3.12), messenger of the gods (in Midsummer, the messenger/agent of Oberon), in the masculine plane of the play's macrocosm.


Figure 3.12: Winged Hermes as Mercurius. He is represented by Asclepius's (Ophiuchus's) serpent staff (caduceus) and homs of plenty, which "symbolize the richness of his gifts" (Jung, Psychology and Alchemy 326). Cartari, L'imagini de i dei, 1585.

In alchemy, the Mercurius figure is often represented by the symbol of the serpent or dragon. In alchemical symbolism, Mercurius's serpentine caduceus (seen in Figure 3.11) connects him to the constellation Serpens and the figure of Asclepius/Ophiuchus in the masculine constellations. By virtue of the serpentine symbolism. Puck is also connected in the macrocosm to the constellation Draco, which, as discussed earlier, intersects the masculine and feminine planes and is the site of the coniunctio between Bottom and TitaniaTitania's bower, in this floorplan, a cave (remember, Hermes was bom in a cave; see Figures 2.20-22). According to Jung, the cave can be seen as another symbol for the unconscious, and the entry into the cave (or, in Midsummer, into Titania's bower) symbolizes the involvement in an "unconscious process of transformation. By penetrating into the unconscious, [one] makes a connection with [one's] unconscious contents. This may result in a momentous change of personality" (Archetypes 135-6). In the Dionysian rite, the cave was the site of the mystic initiation rites in which, "having experienced the tenors of death through his/her submergence in the cave, the initiand would emerge to light again m the newly assumed 95

persona of a bakchos or bakche" (Lada-Richards 78-9). Puck's connection with Hennes, the cave, and the constellation Draco at the intersection of the masculine and feminine planes further typifies Puck's dual nature as trickster and catalyst of transfonnation. According to Jung, the trickster archetype is renowned for "getting into one ridiculous scrape after another. Although he is not really evil, he does the most atrocious things from sheer unconsciousness and unrelatedness" (Jung, Four Archetypes 144). As trickster. Puck is both alarming and channing. Paradoxically, through his faux pas. Puck's "transformation of the meaningless into the meaningful [...] reveals the trickster's compensatory relation to the 'saint'" (Jung, Four Archetypes 136). Thus, in Midsummer, Puck's random and mischievous transformation of Bottom into an ass affects the symbolic coniunctio necessary for the reconciliation between Titania and Oberon. Another role, psychologically, that Puck as trickster embodies is that of the shadow, which, according to Jung, "appears either in projection on suitable persons, or personified as such in dreams," and "personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself (Jung, Archetypes 284). These conscious defects are projected onto the unconscious figure of the trickster. In Midsummer, the most prominent of these is Theseus's restrained libido projected upon Puck, whose trickster energy absorbs it and further transmutes itthrough the figure of Bottominto the atrocious jest of Oberon's revenge upon Titania. Even Oberon does not consciously devise the means for his revenge, hence his projected shadow upon Puck, who has mediated Oberon's revenge much "better than [Oberon] could devise" (IE.ii.35).


The trickster's malicious energy does not rampage unfettered, but winds down, once the unconscious disturbance which instigated it becomes conscious and is integrated, restored to balance within the psyche. In Midsummer, once Oberon and Titania are reconciled. Puck's malicious energy also winds down, true to the trickster cycle, as Jung describes: instead of acting in a bmtal, savage, stupid, and senseless fashion, the trickster's behaviour towards the end of the cycle becomes quite useful and sensible. [. ..] The darkness and the evil have not gone up in smoke, they have merely withdrawn into the unconscious owing to loss of energy, where they remain unconscious so long as all is well with the conscious. (Archetypes 266) The play itself ends with Puck's monologue, conciliatory for the moment, but vested with waming lest future disturbances require his remedy: If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended: That you have but slumbered here while these visions did appear; and this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream, Genfles, do not reprehend, if you pardon, we will mend. and, as I am an honest Puck, if we have unearned luck now to scape the serpent's tongue we will make amends ere long, else the Puck a liar call. So good night unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends, and Robin shall restore amends. (V.i.409-424; emphasis added)

Bottom/Mercurius In the alchemical work, "Mercurius, called Hermes, is not only the receptacle of the prima materia and the symbol for it, he is also the agent of transformation" (Singer 100). In alchemy, Jung proposes that the prima materia refers to the "unknown substance that carries the projection of the autonomous psychic content" (Psychology and


Alchemy 317), which is as yet undifferentiated, but through the alchemical process will be broken down and distilled into the philosopher's gold, the goal of the work. Mercurius acts as a symbol for the alchemical transfonnation by virtue of his dual nature, as the prima materia embodies all the opposites together, yet in chaos (Figure 3.13).

Figure 3.13: "The unfettered opposites in chaos. 'Chaos is one of the names for the prima materia'" (Jung, Psychology and Alchemv 318). Marolles, Tableaux du temple des muses. 1655. In Midsummer, while Puck is literally Oberon's agent of transformation by virtue of his role in finding and dispensing the curative juice of the flower, love-in-idleness, there is another character who also could be viewed as a trickster type who fits the alchemical role of receptacle of the prima materia as well as the catalyst role of the trickster: "sweet, bully Bottom" (IV.ii.l9). The adjectives used to describe Bottom,


"sweef and "bully," also refer us back to a kinder, gentler Theseus and the bullish Minotaur. Bottom, though physically transformed into an ass, never substantially changes inwardly, nor purposefully, throughout the play. In fact, Mark Stavig comments regarding Bottom, that When he becomes an ass, he becomes most fully himself, [... ] and we begin to understand that he is willing to take risks only with the protection of art's fantasy. When the situation seems real, he retreats to his own nature. He could play the potent ass but seems uninterested; he could have sensual delights but setfles for peas and hay; he could be treated like a lord but remains a friendly would-be gentleman; he could rise above his mortal state but becomes even more earthly. He finds it difficult to understand or participate in love: he will never achieve the elevated wisdom of the Athenian (or Christian neo-platonic) philosophy of love either through reason or inspiration, and he remains a "tme Athenian." (245) Puck refers to Bottom as "my mimic" (IE.ii.l9), and as an actor. Bottom is himself a shape-shifter like Puck, who wishes to play every role availablePyramus, a lover, a tyrant, 'Ercles, Thisby, the lion (I.ii)and is as naturally disposed to play them as to play an ass (El.i. 115). Even his Bottom-less dream shall be re-presented as a ballad in performance before the Duke (IV.i.210-217). In his rendezvous with Titania, Bottom as an ass may be seen to be a libidinal projection of Cupid/Eros in the play, which parodies the previous amity of Oberon (as Poseidon-Hippios, lord of horses) mating with Titania (Demeter as mare). As we have seen, Hermes was also connected with human fertility, with his sacred monuments represented as a phallus. Puck's transformation of Bottom into an ass is especially significant because an ass was thought during medieval times to have the largest, hardest phallus; this perhaps provokes erotic suggestion in his meeting/mating with Titania, at


least in Titania's love-struck eyes: she encourages her fairies to feed Bottom with "apricocks," to lead "my love to bed, and to arise" (El.i. 60; 164), to "fetch thee new nuts" (IV.i.35). Titania also speaks of entwining Bottom in her arms, So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle gently entwist; the female ivy so enrings the barky fingers of the elm. Oh how I love thee! (IV.i.40-44) -through courtly love's graphic, flowery language. Midsummer, as a play that celebrates the rite of passage from singleness to marriage via the libidinous rites of May in the woods and the more formal blessing of the beds in Act V, is nothing if not a celebration of human fertility and procreation. In Titania's bower. Bottom acts as the medium or vessel of transformationthe mercurial catalystdissolving Titania's inappropriate identification with the animus (her hold over the changeling boy) in the lesser coniunctio that occurs between them. In the alchemical opus, Edinger distinguishes between a "lesser" and a "greater" coniunctio: In attempting to understand the rich and complex symbolism of the coniunctio it is advisable to distinguish two phases: a lesser coniunctio and a greater. The lesser coniunctio is a union or fusion of substances that are not yet thoroughly separated or discriminated. It is always followed by death or mortificatio. The greater coniunctio, on the other hand, is the goal of the opus, the supreme accomplishment. (Edinger, Psyche on Stage 45) This lesser coupling is ultimately symbohc: spiritual rather than erotic, restoring Titania's anima to its proper balance. While Bottom, as vessel or medium, is not affected by this symbolic act, it does affect Titania's reconciliation with Oberon: she is so enamored with Bottom, she gladly gives the changeling boy over to him (IV.i.58-60). The changeling boy is then permitted to retum to his proper sphere, to be initiated/integrated into the masculine plane as Oberon's proper page. Only when the unconscious opposites of the 100

projected animus and anima (represented in Oberon and Titania) have been reconciled, can the coniunctio (represented in the marriage ritual) of Theseus and Hippolyta in the conscious sphere of the play occur.

Animus/Anima According to Jung, the coniunctio is "a union of two figures, one representing the daytime principle, i.e., lucid consciousness, the other a noctumal light, the unconscious" (Transference 98). In Midsummer, we may perceive that the fairy king and queen (Oberon and Titania), who operate by the shadows of night, are indeed the subconscious animus/anima counterparts of the Athenian royals (Hippolyta and Theseus), who operate in the play by light of day. Archetypally, the animus and anima, according to Jung, are historically encountered in the "male-female pairs of deities [. ..] where the cosmogenic pair of concepts are designated yang (masculine) and yin (feminine) (Archetypes 59). When the yin and yang are balanced, the personality is integrated. In the personal unconscious, the undifferentiated or unassimilated opposites of personality are projected: a man's anima, or hidden feminine aspect, will be represented in the unconscious by feminine anima images; vice versa, a woman's animus, or hidden masculine aspect, will be represented in the unconscious by masculine images. Using this schema, the psychological dualities of personality in Midsummer may be represented in this way: Conscious/Athens: Theseusanimus Hippolyta-anima Unconscious/Wood: Titania-Theseus' projected anima Oberon-Hippolyta's projected animus 101

If one views the archetypes of the play as a paradigm for the personality, at the beginning of the play, the personality is not integrated: Theseus has not assimilated his anima, as seen in the one-sidedness of his conscious anima's nature (Hippolyta). This one-sidedness is represented in the unconscious by Titania, who as Theseus's projected anima, clings to the changeling boyan animus archetypein her power stmggle with Oberon. Her decision to identify with the power of the masculine rather than integrate it negates any reconciliation of the anima with the animus. Likewise, Hippolyta has misappropriated her animus (Theseus), as seen in Theseus' conquering aspect. However, it is Theseus who makes the conscious choice to conquer, or "wed [Hippolyta] in another key" (Li.18-19) another aspect, and so becomes the alchemical adept, minister, or guide of the mystical, alchemical marriage. Jung asserts, the supreme aim of the opus psychologicum is "conscious realization," and the first step is to make oneself conscious of contents that have hitherto been projected" in the personal unconscious (Transference 103). In Midsummer, Shakespeare represents Theseus contrary to his stereotypical legend of loving and leaving women. Instead, Theseus determines to take a different course with Hippolyta, to achieve a higher level of self-knowledge, and therefore he facilitates his union with Hippolyta in a higher sphere, resulting in a harmony more tuneable. This is not the Theseus of Greek legend, but of Chaucer's Knight's Tale, in which, as McAlindon asserts. Chivalry finds its perfect embodiment in Theseus, the 'noble conquerour' and 'gentil due'. In all he does, his intention is to establish limits and maintain distinctions, to moderate, to mediate, and unite. At the beginning, he marries his defeated enemy, the Queen of the Amazons, and in doing so restores to the 'faire, hardy queene' her true identity, binding her in a relationship which is a union rather than a confusion of opposites." (30) 102

Shakespeare's intent seems to be the affinnation of the maniage state, not as colonization, but as partnership. The integrating action of the symbolic coniunctio begins with Theseus's directive to Philostrate, Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments; Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth; Tum melancholy forth to funerals; The pale companion is not for our pomp. (Li. 12-15)

The Role of Asclepius/Ophiuchus As the adept, the guide of the alchemical action of the play, Theseus again may be seen in relationship to his macrocosmic counterpart, Asclepius/Ophiuchus, the healer. He states to Hippolyta, Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword. And won thy love doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key. With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling. (Li. 16-19) Theseus is aware of the injury, the wound he has inflicted upon Hippolyta. However, he does not wish to force the marriage, but desires to heal the wound. In order to heal Hippolyta, he must also heal himself, and so the descent into self-discovery individuation/integrationbegins. The influence of Asclepius/Ophiuchus as represented in the constellations is clear in the transformation process. The connection between the healing arts and alchemy is an ancient association. Aronson contends that the archetype of Asclepius as healer consists of two aspects: the techne or skill of healing, and the miracle and mystery of healing (284). The latter is seen in Asclepius's ability to restore life to the dead.


For the alchemist/healer, this mysterious aspect often took the guise of magic, as the alchemists often worked outside the accepted nonns of society and closely guarded their secrets, in large part to assure "their political survival" (Singer 98). Although the alchemists' esoteric practice of the opus magnum worked towards the spiritual perfection or wholeness of manin concert with nature and under God's guidancealchemists were still eschewed, and often persecuted, by the Church. As the Church sought the place of dominance in neariy every area of the community during the Middle Ages, the alchemists' work towards spiritual perfection infringed upon the domain and control of the Church's priests and agents. According to Singer, the alchemists' teachings "involved liberating the individual from false concepts and preprogrammed ideas," and as such, threatened the authority of the Church as it encouraged the concept not only of an individual's participation in one's personal opus, but also the individual's manipulation of natural elements and forces in the process, "initiating their own process of creation" (Singer 98-99; emphasis added). At this point the Church viewed alchemy as something of a natural magic, even if its goal was healing, as in the case of Paracelsus (15* -16* Centuries); he was a medical doctor/alchemist who was regarded as the "first modem medical scientist" (Jacobi xlvii). In his medical practice, Paracelsus used a combination of chemical science with spirituality, resulting in a holistic approach towards healing both body and soul. He wrote of his medical experiences using alchemical symbolism. Paracelsus's healing methods seem paradoxical in our age when science and religion are separated by a gaping chasm. But such was not the case in the Middle Ages, when "philosophy [i.e., Neo-Platonism] conceived as a natural science, and astronomy


conceived as the science of interaction between man and the cosmos, [were] the indispensable prerequisites" for hennetic alchemy (Jacobi xlvi). On such precarious footing with the Church, the alchemists veiled their tme purposes with multiple layers of symbolism, obfuscating their real goals, which ultimately resulted in their general dismissal by the publicas seen in Ben Jonson's satirical play The Alchemist. However, according to Singer, this attitude occurred not so much because people feared the consequence of a radical alteration in the physical and psychic structures of their worid, but because they perceived the process as a literal one rather than as a symbolic one, and saw it as much effort being expended after what was an impossibly vain and foolish hope. Behind their smokescreen, the work of the alchemists flourished. While a misled public pointed to the fact that no gold was emerging from the laborium where the work was being performed, the alchemists shared with each other the precept, "our gold is not the common gold,' meaning that their work was directed toward achieving the 'philosopher's gold,' which was not the perfection of matter, but of the spirit. Matter provided both the metaphor and the vehicle for the transformative process. (Singer 98-9) With the rise of Puritanism in Elizabethan England, alchemy's influence waned as the gulf widened between nature and religion, yet it persisted in the work of scientists such as Kepler, mathematicians such as Dee, and scientists/mystics such as Fludd. Alchemy continued to wane until medical science through the work of Carl Jung again embraced its symbolism as a significant language of psychic phenomenon. It speaks much of Shakespeare's view of the world that, in the face of the rising restrictions of Puritanism, he combines sacred and profane imagery in Midsummer in the wedding metaphor of the coniunctio to unify the microcosm and macrocosm of man. This is a healing view of the world, one that works towards the wholeness of the human condition. In Shakespeare's writings, according to Aronson, healing is founded on


"wonder," which might be said to approximate magic (283). Psychologically, Shakespeare's healing principle is symbolized by integration rather than by medical practice. According to Aronson, this occurs as "the repressed impulses come to the surface and thereby become part of the process of individuation, [and] the healing process impels the patient to come to terms with what, till then, has been an unacknowledged aspect of his personality" (283). In Midsummer, Theseus, as both healer and diseased, must look beneath the masculine exterior of the Amazon and face himself, in the guise of his projected anima in Titania. This is a form of Theseus's submission to the ego and signals a movement from pride to humility, from conqueror to sunender, in order to achieve the integration of his anima and coniunctio with Hippolyta, or, his tme self. Jung expresses the mythologem of the coniunctio in this way: The union of the conscious mind or ego-personality with the unconscious personified anima produces a new personality compounded of both . . . Since it transcends consciousness it can no longer be called 'ego' but must be given the name of 'self.' [. . .] The self too is both ego and non-ego, subjective and objective, individual and collective. It is the "uniting symbol" which epitomizes the total union of opposites. As such and in accordance with its paradoxical nature, it can only be expressed by means of symbols. (Transference 103) In the symbolic worid of Midsummer, medicine does play a part, through the seemingly magical, but also mystical pharmakios: the juice of the flower, love-inidleness, supematurally transformed when stmck by Cupid's anow. The dmg operates by inciting temporary insanity in the guise of the inational love-madness of love at first sight. This madness reduces everything to primordial chaosseen as both the turbulent waters of the womb and the darkness of the tomb, from which the new personality arises, newborn. 106

Titania, as earner of Theseus's projected anima, must undergo the nte of passage inherent in this process. In Midsummer, the rite is one of fertility, and is symbolized in her coniunctio with Bottom. But this is not the ultimate moment of conjunction. That occurs after Oberon revives her with the juice or dmg of "another herb" (E.i. 184). She is then restored to her fonner, natural relationship with the fairy king, which is consolidated in her ceremonial, cosmic dance with Oberon: Come my queen, take hands with me. And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be. Now thou and I are new in amity. (IV.i.84-6) Interestingly enough, Hippolyta also shares the role as carrier of wholeness in the coniunctio. This becomes most evident in the hunting scene.

The Hunting Scene Towards the end of Midsummer, one of the most psychologically significant scenes, yet most overlooked (and oftentimes cut from production), is that of the hunting party of Theseus and Hippolyta into the woods. It follows on the heels of the awakening (both literal and psychic) of the fairy queen Titania and her restored amity with Oberon. This awakening signals the retum to the conscious world of the play. The consciously shared activity of the hunt by Theseus and Hippolj^a also signals the integration of the unconscious anima (Titania) by the conscious animus (Theseus), and Hippolyta's reconciliation with the unconscious animus (Oberon). This consolidating action paves the way for the consummation of all the lovers in the ensuing rites of marriage.


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Figure 3.14: Mythic Hunting Dogs. 1988, Stephen Marchesi, Random House.

Figure 3.15: Constellation: Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs (emphasis added). 1999, Astronomy.

Immediately apparent in this scene is that Hippolyta and Theseus are hunting with their hounds together. This situates them, macrocosmically, in the realm of the Hunting Dogs, which is located in the feminine plane of the play's cosmos (Figures 3.14-3.15). This signifies, or constellates, if you will, the psychic movement of Theseus into Hippolyta's realm: he is meeting her on her own turf, on her terms. The masculine principle is acceding to the feminine principle, and integration is occurring. The occasion is the courtly "Maying," or excursion into the wood: a hunt not only for game, but also for one's mate. This is a festive, joyous, shared activity, signaling a different musical key from that of the play's funereal beginning: the homs and hounds are baying in musical conjunction, as if to announce the newfound harmony of their masters. The sounding of their trumpets awakens the lovers from their dark dream. Thus, we have seen how the mythology of Midsummer has birthed archetypes embodied throughout the microcosm and macrocosm of the play, working towards a 108

reconciliation of the opposites of masculine and feminine in the process of the integration of the personality. Shakespeare has adeptly used the outer cosmos to define the inner cosmos, which shall be further magnified in the stages of the play's alchemical process.



Philosophical Alchemv We have seen how the mythology of Midsummer has illuminated archetypes that Jung appropriates for analysis in the process of individuation. However, while these archetypes represent a modem psychological process as yet unknown to Shakespeare, Aronson states that, "If, as Jung claims, the symbolism of archetypes originates in the unconscious, it may be studied in both the primeval language of myth and the creation of individual artists" (21). The symbols Jung uses in his analytical process derive from medieval alchemy. While the language of Jung's psychology was unknown to Shakespeare, the language and symbolism of alchemy was not; both Shakespeare and Jung are "concemed with the same problems, although under different conditions and in other forms" (Jung, Transference xiii). Being a visionary poet extraordinaire, Shakespeare birthed archetypal images from the creative images in the collective unconscious that took conscious form in the metaphors of his poetic works. Madeleine L'Engle, who has addressed the issue of the creative nature of the artist, contends that for the artist, this conscious connection to the creative images in the unconscious happens unselfconsciously: in the act of creating the art work, the artist is wholly aware, wholly concentrated in the act of discovery to the point at which she/he transcends time and self (162-3). The artist translates the motifs of


creative thought that proceed from the matrix of the conscious/unconscious connection into physical artifacts. According to Jung's conception of the artist, in his writing Shakespeare consciously accessed images from his unconscious that were primordial and archetypal. It is my contention that the archetypes in Midsummer are also alchemical, shaping the transforming action of the play itself by virtue of their metamorphic nature. Because of their alchemical nature, the symbolic archetypes in Midsummer can be viewed correspondingly from Jung's perspective, as psychic images relevant to the interpretation of the individuation of the personality. Aronson contends that the diversity of Shakespeare's psychic images reflects "a universally valid psychic constellation which the stage represents at a particular moment in the play" (22). The particular constellation of psychic forces represented in Midsummer is the opposition of masculine/feminine, animus/anima, polarized in the representations of Ophiuchus/Virgo, Theseus/Hipployta and Titania/Oberon. The psychological action of the play dissolves the elemental polarization, transforming it in a process represented through alchemical symbolism, which leads the characters from division to unity. The influence of medieval alchemy upon Shakespeare's poetry has been thoroughly delineated in works by Linda Camey, Bettina Knapp, and Luminitsa Niculescu in regard to the Sonnets, the tragedies. The Tempest, and some of his darker comedies. Alchemy was not only a medieval chemical science but also a philosophy, "the aims of which were the transmutation of base metals into gold and the discovery of a panacea. Alchemy was based on the assumption of the essential unity of all matter" (O. HI

Campbell 10). ft proliferated during the Middle Ages and throughout the late Renaissance, in a combination of Neo-Platonic metaphysics (the harmonizing influence of the planets and stars upon man) with Paracelsan chemistry. According to Singer, "The mythological terminology [of alchemy] suggested processes in which the material itself represented for the alchemists the workings of the entire universe as well as providing a description of the inner experience of man the microcosm" (98). Esoteric alchemy was evident in the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer' (Read 29) and was still popular in Shakespeare's day, as seen in the writings of Robert Fludd, who stated that alchemy "really deals with the joining of the elements, the proportions of light and weight in the stars, and their influence on our terrestrial world"^ (Debus 6). Ben Jonson's satire of alchemical excesses in his play The Alchemist was "framed for audiences well versed in the imagery of alchemy and familiar with the alchemical vocabulary" (Debus 39-40). Queen Elizabeth supported the patronage of John Dee, noted mathematician and astrologist (O. Campbell 11). Alchemical imagery as a metaphor for the transformation of the human spirit found its way into Shakespeare's poetry. Linda Camey asserts in Alchemy in Selected Plays of Shakespeare that, apart from its scientific practice. Alchemy, as a philosophical system incorporating elements of religion, psychology, and myth, provided a rich matrix of imagery and associations. [It was] an essentially dramatic and poetic complex of ideas suggesting the possibilities of transformation, (i) Seen from an alchemical perspective, the transforming elements of Midsummer reveal Shakespeare's use of the medieval metaphors of the alchemical marriage. As archetypal images, these elements are manifest not only in Shakespeare's literature, but


also in the imagery of medieval paintings and alchemical texts, as well as in modem paintings by Marc Chagall, whose '"magical chaos' immerses us in a worid of illusions and visions' (Baal-Teshuva 73).

The Coniunctio: The Alchemical Symbolism of Individuation Jung states, "man must not dissolve into a whiri of warring possibilities and tendencies imposed on him by the [disintegration of the] unconscious, but must become the unity that embraces them all" (Transference 33). I have made previous reference to the alchemical image of the coniunctio, which Jung contends is the primary image of the opus magnum of the unifying process of alchemy, the mystic marriage. For alchemists, the image of the coniunctio "served on the one hand to shed light on the mystery of chemical combination, while on the other it became the symbol for the unio mystic, since, as a mythologem, it expresses the archetype of the union of the opposites" (Jung, Transference 5). As symbols, images associated with the process of the coniunctio surface from the unconscious as psychic content in the form of projections upon concrete persons and situations. Jung states, "Many projections can ultimately be integrated back into the individual once he has recognized their subjective origins" (Transference 6). In Midsummer, the primary projection or transference of psychic material may be seen in Theseus's projection of his unintegrated anima on Hippolyta, represented in the unconscious fairy world of the play in Titania and her inappropriate possession of the changeling boy, signifying an imbalance in the integration between his anima and animus (see Chapter IE, 97-99). Until Theseus can successfully integrate his anima with his 113

animus, coniunctoand subsequently resolution, through the reconciliation of oppositescannot occur in the psychic worid of the play. In psychotherapy, the process of individuation begins when unconscious contents become conscious, and are examined by doctor and patient in the analytic process. These unconscious contents often surface and are identified through the contents of dreams, which Edinger contends embody alchemical archtypes (Edinger, Coniunctio 9). In The Compensatory Psyche, Coursen states: For Jung the dream assumes a compensatory stance vis a vis consciousness: it indicates limitations, perhaps even errors in our waking orientation, providing a deep resource for a human experience too often defined as merely conscious. To accept a dream's reality and to interpret its symbolism is to permit ancestral, even prehistoric, energy to flow upwards into the quietly desperate lives lived by the mass of men. Jung likens dreams to drama, a kind of play conducted by the various personas within us, a play obviously not directed by consciousness, but propelled onto the inner stage of our sleeping both by representations of conscious content, on the level of what Jung calls the "personal unconscious," and by a deeper human system of intention that Jung, of course, calls "the collective unconscious." [...] For Jung, dreams are often analogous to the stories that earliest man told to explain the mystery of his existence. The dream suggests to us that we may be the opposite of what our ego believes we are. The dream, then, permits us to become other than and much more than our ego suggests we are. The dream represents the depth and breadth of our potentiality." (9, 10) Shakespeare makes frequent use of the dream as a plot device as well as metaphor in his plays (i.e., Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar) and Midsummer is no exception, ft is through the constmct of the dream aspect of the play embodied by the fairy wood that the wealth of psychic symbols comes to the foreground of the play. At the beginning of Midsummer, Theseus states, Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword. And won thy love doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key, 114

With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling. (Li.16-19, emphasis added) The fact that Theseus consciously recognizes that there is a polarity, in his relationship with Hippolyta and desires to affect change, signifies that unconscious psychic contents are breaking through to the surface and the conscious personality is prepared to begin the process of analyzing and integrating them. The loss of conscious energy at the beginning of the play, represented by the brevity of the scene at the Athenian court, signals the beginning of the individuation process as consciousness is subsumed by the emption of the unconscious worid of the fairy wood, which dominates the action of the play in Acts E, m, and W.

Individuation through the Alchemv of the Play In alchemical symbolism, the mystic marriage, or coniunctio, occurs between two symbolic forms of the King and Queen, represented by Sol and Luna, or Sun and Moon. Jung states, "The factors which come together in the coniunctio are conceived as opposites, either confronting one another in enmity or attracting one another in love. To begin with they form a dualism" (Edinger, Coniunctio 10). I have already discussed the astronomical significance of these dualistic symbols in Midsummer, but it is important to note that they are also the key symbols in the alchemical marriage, representing a series of dualisms held in oppositional tension: Theseus King Sol Gold Dry Masculine Hippolyta Queen Luna Silver Moist Feminine 115

Edinger states that the opposites are "the dynamo of the psyche," and that "simultaneous experience of opposites and the acceptance of that experience" constitutes consciousness, or integration of the personality (Coniunctio 12). According to Jung, the "king and queen play cross roles and represent the unconscious contra-sexual side of the adept and his soror" (Jung, Transference 58), as the integration of opposites is symbolically accomplished through both masculine and feminine principles: through the adept (male assistant, partner, who works with the projected anima), and the soror (female assistant, partner, who works with the projected animus). Jung diagrams this "marriage quatemio" (to which I add the relationships of the adept [Theseus/Oberon]) and his soror [Hippolyta/Titania] from Midsummer) as follows: (conscious) Adept Theseus Soror Hippolyta

Anima Titania (unconscious)

Animus Oberon

Figure 4.1: Relationship of adept and soror to projected animus and anima (Jung, Transference 59, 60), applied to the relationships in Midsummer. The quatemity of relationships in Figure 4.1 indicates many possibilities. According to Jung, "a" indicates "an uncomplicated personal relationship such as that of a man to a woman" (59). In Midsummer, this may be represented in the conscious realm by the primary relationship of Theseus to Hippolyta. "b," according to Jung, represents the relationship of the "man to his [projected] anima and of the woman to her [projected] animus" (59); in Midsummer, Titania


represents Theseus's projected anima in the unconscious, and Oberon represents Hippolyta's projected animus in the unconscious. "c" represents a "relationship of anima to animus and vice versa" (59), such as the relationship that exists in the unconscious worid of Midsummer between Oberon to Titania. "d" represents a "relationship of the woman's animus to the man (which happens when the woman is identical with her animus)" (59); in Midsummer, this is shown in the relationship between Hippolyta's projected animus, Oberon in relationship to Theseus. This exemplifies her identification with the masculine, warrior aspect and unintegrated anima. "d" also exemplifies the relationship of "the man's anima to the woman (which happens when the man is identical with his anima)" (59); in Midsummer, this is shown in Theseus's projected anima, embodied in Titaniawho, associated with Hippolyta the Amazon, represents his anima that is unbalanced, as he denies its feminine power and influence. Jung's schema between the conscious and unconscious and soror and adept represents possible anima/animus oppositions within the psyche. In Midsummer, the process of coniunctiointegrating the opposites of animus and animaoccurs in approximately four alchemical stages^ that correspond to the process of individuation: nigredowhich parallels the rites of courtly love and the Dionysian rites of passage, putrefactio (putrefaction, death), albedo (rebirth), and renovatio (renewal, reintegration into society).


Nisredo: Courtly Love/Dionysian Rites of Passapp. The alchemical process is basically a model of transfonnation that breaks down matter (or spirit) to its primal nature, and then recombines and rebuilds it into a more perfect form. The alchemical stage of the nigredo represents the preliminary stage of analysis in which the unconscious contents of the psyche may be consciously perceived. In Midsummer, this stage is represented in the transition from the conscious light of day at the Athenian court to the unruly time of the dark fairy realm at the stage of the dangerous new moon, representing the unconscious. That the unconscious is breaking through to consciousness is signaled by the presence of Mercurius/Puck, who initiates the process (E.i.l) in the descent into the prima materiathe elemental, undifferentiated chaos of psychic material represented by the wood. Nigredo means "blackening" and signifies the utter blackness of elemental chaos. According to Singer, the nigredo "has its parallel in mystical literature as the 'dark night of the soul' or in mythology as the descent into the underworld [as in Demeter's descent to Hades to retrieve Kore]. It is the bottom of the pit, where disorientation and weakness and hopelessness are the quality of life" (101; brackets, mine). Unlike Bottom's dream, however, there is a depth to be sounded in this chaos in which, through the alchemical work of dissolution, putrefaction, whitening, and renewal, the reconciliation of opposites (coniunctio) may occur and take shape and form in the consciousness as the integrated personality. The stage of the nigredo, which occurs at the dark of the moon, is essential to the process, or differentiation will not be achieved. In Midsummer, the symbolic interaction of the play's archetypes in the rite of passage from singleness to marriage


embodies the play's alchemical theme of transformation, beginning with the lovers' descent into the dark night of the fairy wood. Regarding the nigredo, Jung contends that "dreams occur about this time, announcing the appearance of the transference" of psychic phenomenon (the projected animus or anima), often in the guise of "an erotic or some other ambiguous situation" (Transference 19). In Midsummer, this is manifested in the flight of Lysander and Hermia to conjugal freedom in the wood as well as the libidinal power stmggle between Titania (Theseus's projected anima) and Oberon (Hippolyta's projected animus), as Titania denies Oberon conjugal pleasures by virtue of her fascination with the changeling boy. Jung contends that, "Once an unconscious content is constellated," it creates an illusory atmosphere that "leads to continual misinterpretations and misunderstandings" (23). As the psychic energy of the trickster works to heat up the prima materia, both good and evilas well as light and dark aspects of the personalityare stirred up, then distilled, separated, and ultimately purified in the dark, shadowy blackness of the nigredo. This is seen in the four Athenian lovers' interminable confusion, precipitated in the forest by Puck's (Mercurius's) mischievous use of the elixir, love-in-idleness, resulting in the tangle of cross-purposes among them. Psychologically, the nigredo in Midsummer also coincides with the progression of the four loversLysander/Hermia and Demetrius/Helenain their rite of passage from singleness to marriage. Interestingly enough, in each couple, one of the names represents a dual of an alchemical archetypeHennia (feminine), from Hennes (masculine), the mercurial trickster; and Demetrius (masculine), from Demeter 119

(feminine), who descends to the underworid seeking to retrieve the one she loves. Certain archetypal parallels may be drawn from these similarities, such as the tricks played upon Hermia in the wood via Puck's machinations, and Demetrius' and Helena's descent into the underworid of the foresthe to seek Hermia, she to win Demetrius. The four Athenian lovers also allegorically represent yet another alchemical quatemity. Functionally, however, their joumey through the wood specifically manifests the symbolic chemical process of the breaking down or dissolutio of the masculine/feminine opposition in the nigredo stage; as Jung states, "The specifically alchemical projection looks at first sight like a regression: god and goddess are reduced to king and queen, and these in tum look like mere allegories of chemical substances which are about to combine" (Transference 68). In Midsummer, this dissolution can be seen as a regression from Ophiuchus and Virgo (god and goddess), reduced to Theseus and Hippolyta (king and queen), reduced to the four Athenian lovers, who are reduced even further to theriomorphic representations of themselves: ass, spaniel, serpent, acom, etc. Alchemically, this regression is allegorical, an essential part of the opus, as the renovatiothe re-formation of the elements into a new statecannot occur until the primary elements are first broken down, or dissolved. In the rite of passage, this process occurs as the four lovers begin the transition from childhood to adulthood, from singleness to marriage, from ego to self, in, as Jung asserts, the "dissolution" of one's childhood state and establishment of one's personality and place in society (Stmcture Psyche 392). Victor Turner delineates this initial stage in the rite of passage as the "separation phase" (24), in which the lovers leave the influence of the city and enter the wood (24). 120

This aspect of the lovers' joumey conelates to the May Day ntes of courtly love (Figure 4.2). In IV.i. 131-2, when Theseus and Hippolyta, out hunting, discover the lovers asleep in the forest, Theseus comments, "No doubt they rose up eariy, to observe the rite of May." The "rite of May" was fonnalized in the practices of courtly love during the Middle Ages and consisted of a ntual joumey (often incorporating the hunt) into the country made by lovers in the late spring (Longnon and Gazelles 164; PerezHiguera 192-7).

Figure 4.2: Courtly love: the hunt. Both knight and lady are on horseback, opposite one another with hunting dogs at their feet. (Perez-Higuera 205) Frescoe of the monthsdei mesi; "Su concessione del Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trento." Italy. 15* century. In The Medieval Art of Love: Objects and Subjects of Desire, Michael Camille states, "Astrology came to rule all aspects of everyday life in this period. Not only 121

medicine and politics were influenced by the stars, so too was love's course. In medieval psychological terms one's personality and capacity for love were conditioned by the planets" (87). Shakespeare's metaphoric use of lunacy in association with the rites of courtship guides the chaotic joumey the four lovers undertake into the darkened wood at night. While critics such as R. A. Foakes and Harold Brooks have seen the major theme of the play as the resolution of this lunacy consummated in marriage "with all the couples moving towards stability," Gary Jay Williams asserts that "seeking comfortable closure and domestic and state stability at the end of the play leads us away from recognition of the play's constantly figuring of complex gender relations and its comic but sometimes unsettling representations of our precarious constmctions of reality" (22-3). Williams sees no connection between the transformation of the lovers from "sensual to neoPlatonic love, from irrational love to rational marriage and a stable society under a strong ruler" and the exploration of gender relations which occurs in the midst of this transition. Alchemically, Jung contends that what is happening in the nigredo stage is the breaking down of the personality, of identity, of gender (animus/anima) in the transitional rite of passage of the youth from virginity to marriage: The individual's specious unity that emphatically says "I want, I think," breaks down under the impact of the unconscious. So long as the patient can think that somebody else (his father or mother) is responsible for his difficulties, he can save some semblance of unity. But once he realizes that he himself has a shadow, that his enemy is in his own heart, then the conflict begins and one becomes two. Since the "other" will eventually prove to be yet another duality, a compound of opposites, the ego soon becomes a shuttlecock tossed between a multitude of "velleities," [vacillations] with the result that there is an "obfuscation of the light," i.e., consciousness is depotentiated and the patient is at a loss to know where


his personality begins or ends, ft is like passing through the valley of the shadow. (Transference 34) In Midsummer, we see how Hermia might blame her father for her problems, as he forbids her love for Lysander (I.i.22-45). In the progression of the play, the elements of personality begin to break down in the dissolatio of the wood. One way this is seen in Midsummer is in the relationship of Hermia and Helena. Prior to the descent into the psychic underworid of the wood, Hermia and Helena were both quite sure of themselves and were "playfellows" who were quite attached to one another (I.i.214-220). However, in the throes of passion and the tides of change, each girl becomes tossed upon the waves of chaos in the wood and their previous amity (anima association) becomes dispelled (El.ii), preparing each of them to assimilate the animus represented correspondingly by Demetrius and Lysander in the ritual of marriage. Demetrius and Lysander, on the other hand, enter the wood at cross purposes, both seeking Hermia's love; but their purposes are distorted by the work of Puck, who administers the mercurial elixir (Figure 4.3), lovein-idleness, until a harmonious balance of anima/animus can be restored among all four of the lovers. According to Jung, The integration of unconscious contents is expressed in the idea of the elixir, the medicina catholica or universalis, [. . .] the health-giving fmits of the philosophical tree.[. . .] Some of them are decidedly ominous, but no less characteristic, such as succus lunariae or lunatica (juice of the moon-plant [an allusion to madness]) aqua Satumi [. . .] poison, scorpion, dragon, etc. (Transference 48). The lovers' reconciliations are thus integrally dependent upon their entrance into and passage through the liminal space of transformation that the wood represents.


Figure 4.3: Called the "flower of wisdom," the philosophical fmits are represented by the white lunar rose (left), the red solar rose (right) and the mysterious blue rose (center) They spring from the work of Mercuriusrepresented by the dragon contained within the vessel or womb of the opus. The six-pointed star represents the reconciliation of the opposites, masculine/feminine. (Roob 420). H. Reussner, Pancfora, Basle. 1582. In Midsummer, the lovers are clearly separated from their daily, rational routines as they leave the city and enter the wood, a supematural realm that defies the normal time constraints of theatrical convention and is ordered by the cosmic forces of the moon and stars. As such, it serves as the site of the ritual transformation, or metamorphosis, of the lovers. According to Amold van Gennep in Rites de Passage, there are three phases which occur in a rite of passage: separation, transition, and incorporation. In From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play, Victor Turner delineates the function of the separation phase, which is what the lovers experience as they enter the woods: "The first phase of separation cleariy demarcates sacred space and time from profane or


secular space and time. [. . .] there must be in addition a rite which changes the quality of time also, or constructs a cultural realm which is defined as 'out of time.'"^ (24)

Figure 4. 4: Lovers with a Half-Moon. While the title suggests the moon is half-full, it is obviously at the stage of the crescent, or new moon, under which the lovers frolic. Marc Chagall, 1926-7. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. As the lovers move more deeply into the magical woodland (Figure 4.4), they move into the next phase of the rite of passage, which Turner describes: During the intervening phase of transition, called by Van Gennep "margin" or "limen" (meaning "threshold" in Latin), the ritual subjects pass through a period and area of ambiguity, a sort of social limbo; [. . .] blurring and merging of distinctions may characterize liminality; [. . .] liminal initiands are often considered to be dark, invisible, like the sun or moon in eclipse or the moon between phases, at the "dark of the moon "; they are stripped of names and clothing, smeared with the common earth rendered indistinguishable from animals. They are associated with such general oppositions as life and death, male and female, food and excrement, simultaneously, as they are at once dying from or dead to their former status and life, and being bom and growing into new ones. (24, 26; emphasis added) 125

ft is in this period of transition that the lovers experience gender confusion, the blurring of personalities, theriomorphic and anthropomorphic associations: in essence, the loss of identity. The lack of characterization of the lovers has been a frequent complaint in the play's criticism, "that we cannot tell the young lovers apart" (Williams 19). Their descent into the chaotic, liminal space in the rite of passage offers an explanation for their apparent lack of identifying features. The lovers are metaphorically invisible to themselves, as well as to society, while in the liminal space. Tumer's allegorical reference to the moon's phase further connects the process of their transformation to the symbolism utilized in Jung's alchemical psychology (von Franz 162-3). In Midsummer, the dissolatio reaches its bottom in the symbolic coniunctio that takes place between Bottom and Titania (Figure 4.5). In the liminal stage of the nigredo, Bottom's hermetic role in the process is that of the vessel for the play's symbolic coniunctio. Jung states. There is in the coniunctio a union of two figures, one representing the daytime principle, i.e., lucid consciousness, the other a noctumal night, the unconscious. [. . .] Nor does the coniunctio take place with the personal partner; it is a royal game played out between the active, masculine side of the woman (the animus) and the passive, feminine side of the man (the anima). (Transference 98-9)


Figure 4.5: The Dream. Chagall's painting of the symbolic coniunctio between Bottom and Titaniaunder the influence of the moonshows Titania's entire abandonment, her energy dissolved by the process, while the ass remains, as does Bottom, nonchalanfly the same. Marc Chagall, 1927. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris. This parodic coniunctio represents the symbolic elements of the union of the opposites: Titania represents the unconscious projected anima of Theseus, who in tum projects her imbalanced animus/anima onto Bottom (she views him as an ass, representing her mis-appropriation of masculine power). Titania cannot unite with Oberon, because he is also an agent of the unconscious world of the play. Thus she joins with Bottomwho acts as the shape-shifting mercurial vesselwho, from the daytime world of Athens, represents the daytime principle. In the coniunctio. Bottom projects his anima (passive feminine side, represented by his docile libido) onto Titania. Through this coniunctio, each assimilates the psychic property of the other. Bottom, something of an ass to begin with, and as hermetic agent of transformation rather than the material of 127

it, shows litfle change from what he was before. More importantly, Titania relinquishes her inappropriate grip on masculine power, and instead assimilates the passive feminine strength of the animus. Titania's integration of her anima in the symbolic coniunctio has a startling effect in the conscious world of Midsummer: this results in Theseus's considerable submission to and cooperation with Hippolyta in the hunting scene, and is evident throughout the rest of the play. Chagall's painting, Dedicated to My Fiancee (Figure 4.6) could be seen as an illustration of the literal dismemberment (as in the Dionysian rite) of the inappropriate anima in the dissolutio of the nigredo.

Figure 4.6: DedicMeitoMxFiancee. Marc Chagall, 1911. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris. 128

According to H.M. Chadwick, ^ "Theriomorphism plays a very prominent part in the religious practices and conceptions of primitive peoples, and we hear not infrequently of a struggle between a god or national hero and some theriomorphic being whose sanctuary and 'attributes' he appears to have taken over" (OED 913-4). In view of this assessment, in Midsummer, the theriomorphic implications are evident in the national hero's (Theseus's) historic battle with the theriomorphic Minotaur, whose labyrinth (sanctuary)associated with the ritual sacrifice of maidensparallels that of the fairy wood, into which maidens also adventure. It might be surmised that Theseus takes on the attributes of the Minotaur and its ritual sacrifice in the alchemical, Taurean aspect of the play, as his projected anima is ritually dismembered (as in the Dionysian rite), dissolved in the wood during the nigredo and putrefactio, to be reconfigured and assimilated during the stages of albedo and renovatio.

Putrefactio As we have seen, in Midsummer the bacchanalian rite of May in conjunction with the influence of midsummer's eve propels the lovers beyond their normal societal stmcture as they embark upon the transforming joumey of ritual death and rebirth in what Nietzsche would refer to as a "Dionysian" rite (Nietzsche 173-187). Jung contends that it needed Nietzsche to reveal the Dionysian mystery to the modem worid, in which "The ancestial spirits play an important part in primitive rites of renewal" (Psychology and Alchemy 89, 131). In Midsummer, the sleep of the lovers, instigated by the gods (the fairies) of the play, represents "the sleep of incubation, the Dionysian orgy, and the ritual death in initiation" in the process of psychological integration (Jung, Psychology and 129

Alchemy 131). In this space, the lovers not only lose track of time and their identities, but also literally fall asleep, dying (in the Biblical sense) to their old lives. In Initiating Dionysus, Lada-Richards has shown how the Dionysian ntes function in comic as well as tragic drama in her analysis of the Frogs by Anstophanes, and conelates the stmcture of Dionysian ntual with that of Van Gennep's nte of passage (45-122). Lada-Richards contends that the function of the Dionysian spectacle "exploits the fickleness of fonns, enacts the dissolution of polarities" (8), as in the assimilation of the amma in integration process. This dissolution in the Dionysian rite results in the symbolic death of "the initiand's former personality [. . .], so that he/she may be rebom into a new identity" (57; Figure 4.7).

Figure 4.7: "The Primeval Duality" (Roob 257). The opposition of Dionysus (nigredo, dissolutio, death, dismemberment) to Apollo (albedo, renovatio, rebirth, wholeness) in the alchemical opus. According to Nietzsche, both Dionysus and Apollo are necessary to the Dionysian rite; the rite begins in Dionysus, but needs Apollo to bring it to completion. Robert Fludd. Philosophia Moysaica, Gouda. 1638. 130

Alchemically, this action represents t\\e putrefactio, "the comiption, the decay of a once living creature. [. . .] No new life can arise, say the alchemists, without the death of the old" (Jung, Transference 95). ft is in this death that the new personality, the self is bom: the "union of the conscious mind or ego-personality with the unconscious personified as anima produces a new personality compounded of both [conscious and unconscious]" (Jung, Transference 103). The psychological birth of the self conesponds to the alchemical birth of the filius philosophommthe child or procreation of the opus, bom of the alchemical king and queen. In the Dionysian rite, death may be "understood as the initiand's renunciation of previous identity, and 'resurrection' [rebirth] as his attainment of a new status" (Lada-Richards 103). The archetype of the primordial child in the changeling boy foreshadows this rebirth, as the boy assumes his proper place in the psychic constellation of the play, having made his own passage over to the masculine realm, to the proper stage of his development, where he is alchemically child of both animus/anima, rather than over-mled by one.

Albedo In Midsummer, at dawn when the lovers awaken, they have experienced a rebirth and are ready to make the passage back into the community and assume a new life with new responsibilities. This is what Turner refers to in Van Gennep's terminology as the stage of "'re-aggregation' or 'incorporation' [which] includes symbolic phenomena and actions which represent the retum of the subjects to their new, relatively stable, welldefined position in the total society" (24). In Midsummer, this occurs at dawn, when hunting homs of Theseus and Hippolyta awaken the lovers from their sleep. This 131

awakening symbolizes a retum to consciousness under the influence of Sol (Figure 4.8), and the beginning of the integration into consciousness of newly differentiated aspects of the personality. Jung states, alchemically. The black or unconscious state that resulted from the union of opposites reaches the nadir and a change sets in. The falling dew [of the dawn] signals resuscitation and a new light; the ever deeper descent into the unconscious suddenly becomes illumination from above. [. . .] The preceding union of opposites has brought light, as always, out of the darkness of night, and by this light it will be possible to see what the real meaning of that union was. (Transference 119-120)

Figure 4.8: The retum to Sol, consciousness, represented by the sun god, Apollo, and the lion (Roob 233). De Sphaera, Italian Manuscript. 15* century. At this stage the unconscious contents of the psyche have been made conscious, and are consciously evaluated sensibly (felt emotionally), intellectually (theoretically understood), intuitively (the ouflook and insight of imagination), and finally, practically (physicaUy perceived) (Jung, Transference 116-120). Jung states, "The supreme aim of 132

the opus psychologicum is conscious realization, and the first step is to make oneself conscious of contents that have hitherto been projected" (Transference 101). To neglect any one of these evaluative steps, results in an incomplete realization of the opus. In Midsummer, this conscious realization takes place at many levels: the sensible realization or feeling produced by the alchemical opus is that of the resultant love binding the four couples together in "new amity" ((IV.i.86). In IV.i.70-73, Oberon uses the elixir of another herb, "Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower" (E.i.184-5) to awaken Titania from the fierce vexation of her dream. Oberon addresses her as "my Titania [...], my sweet queen," and she him as "My Oberon!" (IV.i.74-5). Her enchantment broken, Titania wonders at the "visions" she has seen. She and Oberon, their love for each other restored, go forth as partners to lead the cosmic Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphanfly. And bless it to all prosperity. There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity. (IV.i.88-90) The weddings of all the couples shall take place in this new key, spilling over from the unconscious realm of the play into the conscious world, healing and harmonizing Theseus and Hippolyta's relationship, beginning with their courtly hunt at the dawn of the day. The lovers are nearly caught in flagrante delecto by Theseus and Hippolyta ("Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?" [IV.i.139]), and perceive that Lysander's love for Hermia, tested by the alchemical fire, has survived. Demetrius's love-sickness has also been cured in the alchemical process, distilled back to his "natural taste" (IV.i. 173), his love for Helena: 133

Now do 1 wish it, love it, long for it. And will for evermore be tme to it. (IV.i. 174-5) Theseus, in an act that manifests the integration of his anima in his budding love for Hippolyta, patiently hears the lovers' recollection of the night's strange events. Contrary to his earlier judgment, Theseus responds to them, allowing his feminine, nurturing grace to prevail, forgiving their rebellion, dismissing the penalty of their tmancy, and oven-uling Hennia's father's will. When Theseus requests Hippolyta to "Come," there is no longer any reticence on her part; no questioning, "What cheer, my love?" (I.i. 122) from Theseus, as he did four days eariier, noting her sadness and restraint. Instead, the ducal couple in partnership leads the lovers back to Athens, inviting them to seal their vows all together in the communal wedding rites. Along the way, the young lovers continue to recount and assimilate their experiences as well as their love for one another. They reenter the city and leave their old lives behind in the woods, crossing the threshold into their new lives in marriage. Practical evaluation in the process of consciously realizing the coniunctio occurs in the last vestiges of surfacing unconscious remnants in the commentary upon the play, Pyramus and Thisbe. Bottom, awaking from his dream, "remembers specific fragments of his vision, but he slumbers on about its meaning. [...] Whether reclining in Titania's bower or roaring amid the comical-tragical-pastoral of Pyramus and Thisbe. Bottom is forever Bottom" (Coursen 10-11). Bottom as mercurial agent remains unchanged, but as the common, mercurial thread who is linked to all four worlds (with his fellow craftsmen, the lovers, the ducal court, and the fairy kingdom), he plays a particular role as an agent who brings unconscious contents to the surface through the presentation of the play for


the marriage feast. The surfacing of these contents is necessary for their ultimate evaluation and integration in the realization of consciousness. The workaday rustics with Bottom provide the practical function of bringing into relief the transforming theme of the play as their performance of Pyramus and Thisbe undergoes scmtiny and evaluation. At the court, entertainments are sought for the evening's festivities. Theseus chooses the fourth entertainment offered, that of the '"tedious brief scene of young Pyramus and his love Thisbe, very tragical mirth.' [. . .] That is hot ice, and wondrous strange snow!" (V.i.56-59). Theseus comments regarding the play, "How shall we find the concord of this discord?" (V.i.60), echoing and summarizing the entire theme of the play until this momentthe alchemical conjunction of opposites. While the opposites have been reconciled, they are still held in tension, with their negative energy at bay, and their procreative energy foregrounded for the moment. Once the coniunctio occurs, the work is not yet perfected (this takes a lifetime), but represents completeness. Embodying shadowy, irrepressible remnants of the lovers' experiences in the wood, the play Pyramus and Thisbe is given shape and form in the conscious realm of Midsummer, thrown into what Jung terms "a stark encounter with reality," where there are no false veils or adomments of any kind. Man stands forth as he really is and shows what was hidden under the mask of conventional adaptation: the shadow. This is now raised to consciousness and integrated with the ego, which means a move in the direction of wholeness. [. ..] the animal sphere of instinct, as well as the primitive or archaic psyche, emerge into the zone of consciousness and can no longer be repressed by fictions and illusions. (77) For the integration of opposites to be complete, these remaining shadowy vestiges portents of tragedymust be practically evaluated in the light of day, the light of


consciousness, in order to prevent a retum to psychic imbalance. In this way is the tragedy inherent in Pyramus and Thisbe avoided, for the time being (Figure 4.9).

Figure 4.9: The Liberation. In the context of the cosmic mandala, or influence of the macrocosm on the microcosm, the lovers retum from the wood to the city to wed. The musicians could represent the rustic players, offering their divertissement for the wedding feast. Marc Chagall, 1947-52. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris.


Prior to the perfonnance of Pyramus and Thisbe. the conscious intellectual and intuitive evaluation of the alchemical opus takes place in the conversation between Theseus and Hippolyta conceming Reason and ftnagination, perhaps the culminating moment of the conjunction of opposites in the play. Jung quotes Ruland's Lexicon, stating, '"ftnagination is the star in man, the celestial or super-celestial body.' [. ..] The concept of imaginatio is perhaps the most important key to the understanding of the opus" (Psychology and Alchemv 277, 279). Because it projects into the material worid psychic experience through symbols, the alchemical work cannot be accomplished by means of a literal, material investigation alone. What imagination afforded the alchemist in approaching the opus, which was both material and spiritual in its nature, was a way of mediating both realms through a process which embodied that which was phantasmagorical, making material the images of psychic content. In this way, in Jung's terms, imagination could be seen to be a "concentrated extract of the life forces" in which "the physical and psychic are once more blended in an indissoluble unity" (278-9). In light of the alchemical role of imaginatio, Theseus and Hippolyta's debate between Reason and Imaginationor Apollo and Dionysus as Nietzsche might sayreveals yet another metaphoric layer of the alchemical coniunctio. In discussing the tales "that these lovers speak o f (V.i. 1-27), Theseus representing the archetype of Sol and Reasonis apt to assign such "antique fables" to the "shaping fantasies" of "the lunatic, the lover, and the poet [who] are of imagination all compact." He dismisses the lovers' tales of their woodland adventure as "tricks" that have "strong imagination." Conversely, Hippolyta, who archetypally represents Luna and Imagination, insists that even such "tricks" have "all their minds transfigur d so 137

together" (psychologically, their psyches have been transformed, integrated). Even if the result of an imagined story, this great feat is still "something of great constancy, [. . .] strange and admirable." Jung states that realization is not complete without the functioning of the imaginative activity of intuition: it "gives ouflook and insight: it revels in the garden of magical possibilities as if they were real. Nothing is more charged with intuitions than the lapis philosophorum [philosopher's stone, the goal of the work]" (119). Theseus and Hippolyta's discussion continues throughout the performance of Pyramus and Thisbe. As Theseus questions Philostrate about the nature of the play, Theseus begins to recognize his own repression of intuition, and accepts it, over-mling Philostrate's judgment of the play as "nothing, nothing in the world" (V.i.78). Theseus states, I will hear that play; For never can anything be amiss When simpleness and duty tender it. (V.i.81-3) ftonically, the play is "of imagination all compact," an "airy nothing" given a "local habitation and a name" (V.i.8, 15-17) by some poet, whose work Theseus was only moments earher denigrating. Theseus has acceded to Hippolyta's position on Imagination, and becomes in Edinger's words, "a earner of the opposites, and in so doing contributes to the [ongoing work of] coniunctio" (Edinger, Coniunctio 14). In affirming the absurd delight that may proceed from the mstic's performance of Pyramus and Thisbe, Theseus's transfonnation continues as he realizes that ftnagination's work, contrary to all reason, may transcend even the most inept of interpreters (V.i.89-105). ft is Theseus who now affinns the work of ftnagination in his 138

assent to hear the play, and Hippolyta who plays devil's advocate of Reason to Theseus' affinnation of ftnagination. Theseus pleads with her, as in Act I, to play along with him, trust his judgment; and the transformation of their relationship is once more made evident in their discussion that continues throughout the play. While Hippolyta complains throughout the play, Theseus defends it by virtue of . .. Imagination: Hippolyta: Theseus: Hippolyta: Theseus: This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination mend them. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs. E we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. (V.i.206-213; emphasis added) However, once Moonshine (the homed, or crescent new moon) enters the scene, Hippolyta, a votaress of the moon goddess, begins to be transformed under its influence, as Reason gives way to Imagination: Well shone. Moon! Tmly the moon shines with a good grace! (V.i.256-7) Luna, Intuition, has won over Hippolyta, as well as Theseus, who, as Sol, has integrated the intuitive/imaginative aspect of the feminine, Luna.

Renovatio The play draws to a close as we have seen all the lovers transfigured by the strange and admirable events of the alchemical marriage. At the stroke of midnightthe beginning of the fourth day, signaling completionTheseus calls the lovers "to bed" (V.i.350) to consummate their marriages. At enmity with Theseus at the beginning of the play, the lovers are now Theseus's "sweet friends," and the funereal tenor that


underscored the play's opening has been transformed to another key, "In nightly revels and jollity" (V.i.343-4). As the lovers depart, Puck/Mercurius appears, his trickster energy waning now that the cycle of life, death, and renewal (actually a psychic rebirth) has been accomplished. Not even "a mouse shall disturb this hallow'd house" (V.i.373-4), nor the spritely and mischievous Puck: his night's work is over. Mercurius gives way to the alchemical king and queen (Oberon and Titania) who enter conjoined (Figure 4.10), "Hand in hand, with fairy grace [to] sing, and bless this place" (V.i.385-6).


Figure 4.10: The alchemical king and queen, Sol et Luna (Edinger, Coniunctio 45). Rosarium philosophomm. 1550. Puck/Mercurius appears once more, begging pardon for the night's offenses (V.i.409-422). Yet, Mercurius also challenges us to "think" upon these "visions," to consider the "weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream"to evaluate the 140

substance of what has occuned, to bring it to conscious realization, or to slumber on. Mercurius continues, "If you pardon, we will mend," if the audience concurs, the alchemical work will continue, else, with "with uneamed luck" the audience, may for the moment escape "the [mercurial] serpent's tongue" (Figure 4.11). Still, Puck/Mercurius extends the ongoing invitation to continue the opus to the play's audience, Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends. (V.i.423-4)
^SpB'5t">'>-.'-a^ ~

Figure 4.11: the mercurial serpent stirring up the "hermaphroditic matter," or prima materia of 'Sunne and Moone,'" within the zodiacal signs referred to as the "twelve gates of the process" (Roob 405). Ripley Scroll. 1588. In response to Puck's offer, Coursen inquires: So the question isdo we, as single spectators find all this as weak and idle as mere dreaming, or has the play excited our own imaginationsthat quality in us that must reach down into some zone deeper than merely the brain awake? [. . .] perhaps some part of usthe metaphysical as opposed to the biological brainhas been alerted to the world Shakespeare has 141

created, in which rational Athens has been superceded by an enchanted forest, whose inhabitants ultimately invade the ducal palace for benevolent purposes. Jung would say that such invasion is always benevolent, forever trying to coerce the [rational] Theseus-in-us towards the more intuitive position of a Hippolyta. (11) Final amity has been the integration of the unconscious and conscious aspects of the personality. Animus and anima have been broken down into their elemental nature, distilled, differentiated, and recombined in the alchemical marriage into a new form, balancing both animus and anima in the symbolically androgynous archetype of the coniunctio, representing the union of the opposites (Figure 4.12). PHILOSOPHORVIvl.

Figure 4.12: The union of opposites (Edinger, Coniunctio 95). Rosarium philosophorum. 1550. The lovers' ritual joumey towards coniunctio, motivated by cosmic forces, manifests Shakespeare's complex integration of astronomy, alchemy, and archetypes m Midsummer. As such, the play provides a profound reflection of Shakespeare's medieval mindset as well as understanding of humanity. Shakespeare has successfully integrated 142

diverse archetypal symbols into a network of meaning in which it becomes difficult to disconnect one from another. Thus, we can step back and view the world of Midsummer as a whole, with archetypal opposites held in tensionyet reconciled for the moment as they are brought into balance within the world's psychic structure. In the words of Joseph Campbell, Shakespeare's profound harmony of mythic metaphors in Midsummer orchestrates the "song of the uni-verse, the music of the spheres" (Campbell xviii), a melody still tuneable to our time.



The most notable of Chaucer's alchemical writings is "Canon Yeoman's Tale," from The Canterbury Tales. Debus quotes Fludd from his Tractatus Apologeticus, 110. As few as four and as many as 28 stages of alchemy have been identified throughout its history. Roob identifies the four main stages of the alchemical process according to the colors it produces: a. blackening, nigredo; h. whitening, albedo; c. yellowing, citrinitas; d. reddening, rM&eJo (30-31). Jung refers to the division of alchemy into these four stages as "the quartering of the philosophy" (Psychology and Alchemv 229). The colors red and white represent the alchemical King and Queen. From a list in J. Pemety's Dictionnairie Mytho-Hermetique (Paris, 1787), Roob identifies other stages, based on the planets, metals, and twelve signs of the zodiac: calcinatio: oxidization, Aries; congelatio: crystallization, Taums; fixatio: fixation, Gemini; solutio: dissolution, melting. Cancer; digestio: dismemberment, Leo; distillatio: separation of the solid from the liquid, Virgo; sublimatio: refinement through sublimation. Libra; separatio: separation, division, Scorpio; ceratio: fixing in a waxy state, Sagittarius; fermentatio: fermentation, Capricorn; multiplicatio: multiplication, Aquarius; projectio: scattering of lapis as dust on the base metals, Pisces (30-31). The recorded alchemical stages are general rather than specific, varying from one alchemical treatise to another, reflecting the fluid, intuitive, and mystical nature of the work, as well as the alchemists' reticence to divulge the secrets of transmutation. Jung contends in Psychology and Alchemv that "Every single one of these terms has more than one meaning" (239), therefore, innumerable interpretations of them exist. ^ Turner remarks upon the work of Van Gennep, Rites de Passage, first published in French in 1908. ^ The quote by H.M. Chadwick is from Heroic Age vi. 125, regarding the word, theriomorphic. OED, 2"'^ Edition, vol. XVE. 913-4.



The process of psychological integration interpreted through medieval alchemical imagery in Midsummer is a unifying force encoded through Shakespeare's poetic vision. Emerging from the collective unconscious, the mythological imagery of astronomy, alchemy and archetypes in Midsummer opens it to an equivalent, contemporary psychological understanding that leads to the application of these insights in the production of the play. Jung contends that archetypes, which rise from the collective unconscious, are universal, whether viewed as ancient or modem. The psychological ideas or forces that we take for granted today were just as potent in Shakespeare's time: there simply was not as yet any scientific understanding or terminology for them. Jung asserts that the work of the alchemists embodied their own psychic projections of unconscious material upon their chemical experiments, which resulted in a highly complex, mystical process or opusthat was psychological and spiritual in nature, but defined only through natural, chemical language (Psychology and Alchemv 245). That the process of the coniunctio was not merely an elemental chemical operation but was connected to the soul, was seen in the alchemists' appropriation of Gnostic and Neo-Platonic symbols and language in describing it (357). The symbolism of the coniunctio is in essence a transcendent, ideal view of the worid. In Midsummer, it marries the natural with the spiritual (as well as pagan [i.e. Dionysian rites] and Christian [i.e., marriage rites]), integrating the physical


microcosm and macrocosm, as well as the inner and outer psyche in a tenuous, synergistic balance of opposites. The alchemical practice of veiled meaning, derived from multiple approaches to the opus magnum, leads to fluid interpretations of alchemical symbolism based on the personal projections of the individual architect of the opus at a particular time. Because of its subjective nature, alchemical symbolism affords a wealth of new imagery and ideas for staging Midsummer. Such multiplicity of interpretation is inherent in the psychological nature of the alchemical symbol, as Jung states. We should not begmdge the alchemists their secret language: deeper insight into the problems of psychic development soon teaches us how much better it is to reserve judgment instead of prematurely announcing to all and sundry what's what. Of course we all have an understandable desire for crystal clarity, but we are apt to forget that in psychic matters we are deahng with processes of experience, that is, with transformations which should never be given hard and fast names if their living movement is not to petrify into something static. The protean mythologem and the shimmering symbol express the processes of the psyche far more trenchanfly and, in the end, far more cleariy than the clearest concept; for the symbol not only conveys a visualization of the process but-and this is perhaps just as important-it also brings a re-experiencing of it, of that twilight which we can leam to understand only through inoffensive empathy, but which too much clarity only dispels. (Alchemical Studies, 162-3) Because poetic language is a vehicle of imaginationthe bridge between the material worid and the unconscious woridthe theatrical or visual artist (such as Marc Chagall, Figure 5.1) may give corporeal form to ideas heretofore expressed ethereally. In giving forai to the transcendent symbol, the theatrical artist is able to "persuade the spectator that the set of bodies and other-woridly signs presented to him do indeed embody, for the duration of the spectacle, the properties of another sphere" (Elam 165). This is the


transfonnation that the theatre engenders, when what has been imagined in word is translated into deed upon the stage.

Figure 5.1: Midsummer Night's Dream. Acccording to Werner Haftmann, Chagall was "very fond of it [Midsummer] and read it again and again" (92). We see in this painting the winged Hermes/Mercurius/Puck presenting the bride and groom. The color of the sky is the bright yellow of a new day, signaling the nearing completion of the opus, as does the bride's white gown and Mercurius's red color. Is the groom ass or bull? Perhaps he is a mixture of both, referring to the lesser coniunctio of Bottom and Titania, as well as the greater coniunctio of Theseus and Hippolyta. Note the clown just behind the groom, a reference perhaps to Mercurial Bottomin opposition to the winged Hermes/ Mercurius/Puck. The tree reminds us of the enchanted wood. Marc Chagall, 1939. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. The issue of translation/interpretation, however, can be slippery. For example, most critics acknowledge that Midsummer is a play about transformation or metamorphosis. However, the basic premise underiying alchemy is that its transforming process is one that results in integration of the opposites, versus polarization. As we have seen, in Midsummer the primary opposites appear gendered: masculine/feminine. In 147

many twentieth-century interpretations of the play, there has been a tendency to view Midsummer as another play in the patriarchal canon that colonizes women, relegating them once again to stereotypical roles as wives and mothers, submissive to dominating husbands/fathers. When viewing Midsummer from the alchemical/psychological perspective, however, the opposites of masculine/feminine may be seen as basic elements of every personality in which a balance of both must occur in order to achieve wholeness. In this way, gendered characters in the play may be seen as symbols of the balanced personality. True, Shakespeare has couched these psychological ideas in cultural constmcts of his day. Yet, even so, the critic should remember that in the alchemical process, both man and woman (masculine and feminine) symbolically work together to achieve the reconciliation, or integration, of the opposites, and in so doing transcend stereotypical gender barriers. Crossing the boundaries of gender in the dissolutio and renovatio of the process of individuation is just as significant for males as it is for females, and is inherent in Dionysian theatre in which the rigidly defined male personality is allowed to plunge [into] every form of 'othemess.' Escaping its own boundaries, the male body verges on the feminine either through direct impersonation of women, - a s in Flute's impersonation of Thisbe in Midsummer; or through mimesis of female pathos, - a s in Theseus's assimilation of his anima; while physical and ideological confines and constmctions of the male worid are questioned or renegotiated. (Lada-Richards 8)


- a s in the reversal of Theseus's judgment upon Hennia's paternal disobedience in IV.i.l78. On a psychological basis, Jung admittedly has described the process of individuation from the masculine point of view. However, this does not preclude one was

from approaching it from a feminine point of view. Jung states that, while alchemy

mainly a masculine preoccupation and in consequence of this its formulations are for the most part masculine in character, [.. .] we should not overtook the fact that the feminine element in alchemy is not so inconsiderable since, even at the time of its beginnings in Alexandria, we have authentic proof of female philosophers like Theosebeia, the soror mystica of Zosimos, and Paphnutia and Maria Prophetissa. (Transference 134) Jung also notes alchemical pairs who worked and studied together such as Nicolas Flamel and his wife Peronelle, or Thomas South and his daughter, Mrs. Atwood. Jung quotes in length a letter of John Pordage (1607-1681) to his soror mystica Jane Leade, giving her "spiritual instmction conceming the opus" (135). Jung also gives much credit to the role of feminine psychology in the alchemical process: Unfortunately we possess no original treatises that can with any certainty be ascribed to a woman author. Consequently we do not know what kind of alchemical symbolism a woman's view would have produced. Nevertheless, modem medical practice tells us that the feminine unconscious produces a symbolism which, by and large, is compensatory to the masculine. In that case, [. . .] the leitmotiv [symbol] would not be gentle Venus but fiery Mars, not Sophia but Hecate, Demeter, and Persephone, or the matriarchal Kali of southem India in her brighter and darker aspects. (140) As we have seen, when one studies the archetypes of Midsummer, one sees that the images of Hecate, Demeter, and Persephone (Kore) are all present within the scope of the play, so a psychologically feminine reading of this play, foregrounding these aspects, is possible as well as practicable. 149

Jung continues the discussion of feminine psychology by referring to the pictures of the arbor philosophica from the 14* century Codex Ashbumham, showing Adam struck by an arrow with the tree growing out of his genitals (Figure 5.2), and Eve with the tree growing out of her headwith her hand covering her genitals (Figure 5.3).

Figure 5.2: Male aspect of the prima Material (Jung, Psychology and Alchemy 256). "Miscellanea d'alchimia," CoJex Ashbumham. 14* century. Jung states.

Figure 5:3: Female aspect of the prima materia (Jung, Psychology and Alchemy 268). "Miscellanea d'alchimia," CoJex Ashbumham. 14* century.

Plainly this is a hint that the man's opus is concemed with the erotic aspect of the anima, while the woman's is concerned with the animus, which is a "function of the head." The prima materia, i.e., the unconscious, is represented in man by the "unconscious" anima [eros], and in woman by the "unconscious" animus [reason]. Out of the prima materia grows the philosophical tree, the unfolding opus. In their symbolical sense, too, the pictures are in accord with the findings of psychology, since Adam would then stand for the woman's animus who generates "philosophical" ideas with his member, and Eve for the man's anima who, as Sapientia or Sophia, produces out of her head the intellectual content of the work. (Transference 141) 150

Even in this example, we can see how the debate between Reason and Imagination in Act V of Midsummer embodies the struggle between the opposites of masculine and feminine, not so that one may subdue the other, but that both may coexist in the fragile balance of the integrated personality. Jung asserts, "Venerabilis natura does not halt at the opposites; she uses them to create, out of opposition, a new birth" (Transference 143). This new creation is the individuated personality, the self In Midsummer, this coniunctio results in the cultural constmct of marriage, a physical union, which, for the time being, is "blessed." This does not preclude further marital strife, however, as the play Pyramus and Thisbe serves as waming enough that not all love ends in marital bliss. The paradigm for marital bliss as well as individuation is integration, the reconciliation of opposites, which is an ongoing, lifetime process (much like marriage). In Midsummer, the alchemical imagery of the coniunctio and the archetypes embodied in the mythology of the characters through the astronomy of the play afford vast possibilities for new approaches to its staging. The transcendent symbolism of Sol and Luna would be interesting figures upon which to base an archetypal production of the play that transcends gender. I have already offered a possible floor plan that minors the early summer sky. Using this schema, the director may actually stage the movements (entrances and exits of the characters) according to their psychic makeup and/or placement during the play. Because the inherent oppositions of the play are manifested in its design, this floor plan becomes an organic catalyst for movement by the characters within the play that is consistent with the motives of the text. For example, the constellated points of Ophiuchus and Virgo on the stage may serve as the thrones for Theseus and Hippolyta, or Oberon and Titania. Draco, upstage center, may serve as 151

Titania's bower, where the lesser coniunctio occurs with Bottom. The lovers move deeper into the woods, stage left, while Oberon and Puck observe and maneuver them from the Summer Triangle, stage right. Hermia awakens from her serpent's dream at the point of Serpens cauda or caput. There are also color progressions in the alchemical process, the primary one consisting of four colors (corresponding to the four elements), of black to white to yellow (or gold) to red. Often when designing a show, color symbolism is utilized to show the development of the plot as well as the characters. A costume or scene or hghting designer could make wonderful use of the alchemical color progression to indicate visually/scenically what is occurring in the transforming operation of the play. The mythology of the characters of the play affords other imagery to apply to characterization as well as conceptualization, i.e., conceiving of Puck as a satyr, a representation of Hermes, or even played by two characters (one male, one female) to suggest Mercurius's hermaphroditic nature are all possible options. Representing the women in the play as different aspects of the moon goddess with their contemporary counterpartsPersephone/teenage virgin (ideally), Demeter/mother, and Hecate/witch, is also possible. An alchemical reading of the play makes sense of including the changeling child in the play as physical evidence of the power stmggle, along with its resolution, between the masculine and feminine. So also does restoring the hunting scene as a tuming point in the play that significanfly marks the change in Theseus towards Hippolyta, and foregrounds the affirmation and assimilation of the feminine, the anima. A fuller understanding of the debate between Reason and ftnagination also serves to clarify the 152

necessity of the masculine for the feminine versus the domination of one at the expense of the other, allowing for a transcendent view of the ideal androgynous, balanced relationship. Other applications of an alchemical understanding of Midsummer might be to use art works such as Marc Chagall's (Figure 5.4), which embody the alchemical elements of Shakespeare's metaphors and intuitively portray the psychic aspects of the play, to aid in design concepts for lighting and stage design as well as costuming. Because Midsummer is so ripe with the content of the collective unconscious, it will always be able to be interpreted from the psychological perspective of its current director/cast/production team. This is how unconscious material works in the interpretive process: it brings to surface in the receptor that for which the receptor's conscious has need for expression or conscious recognition and assimilation. In other words, as a psychological, visionary play, images from the collective unconscious inherent in the archetypes of Midsummer wiU break through to the consciousness of one's reading or interpretation of the play, according to what resonates with her/his collective unconscious. The alchemical imagery of Midsummer opens up new avenues of discourse and interpretation to its contemporary audience, and as such continues to affinn the greatness of Shakespeare's collaborative genius. I have only revealed the proverbial tip of the iceberg of alchemical symbolism in Midsummer in this treatise (indeed, an interpretation of the play based on the Rosarium illustrations is even possible). With the wealth of alchemical imagery available to the director, dramaturg, and production team, its application to production is limited only to their imagination. Thus, this research is not intended to define a new way or the 153

approach to staging Shakespeare's play, but to offer refreshing possibilities for staging the play in harmony with Shakespeare's text. An alchemical, Jungian reading of Midsummer offers innovative ways to interpret the play that may facilitate equivalent, contemporary readings and performances of Shakespeare's Elizabethan work. As such, this work further demonstrates how Shakespeare's works (including his 'fairy play'), are "not of an age, but for all time."

Figure 5.4: TheWedding Candles. Chagall's painting is a wonderful illustration of the alchemical themes in Midsummer: as Sol sets over the village, the wedding feast commences by candlelight and the players stnke up the cosmic wedding dance; yet the shadowy worid of the unconscious is ever present, lingering on the dark fringe of night: the lovers at bottom left next to the cock in passionate embrace; the winged goat (reminiscent of theThesean minotaur), left, drinking the Dionysian cup of the ntual passage; the ethereal being, top, sounding the tmmpet of the mystical conjunction. Marc Chagall, 1945. 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Pans. 154


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Included in this appendix are permissions to copy figures used in this dissertation. In the case of figures in the common domain, permission is either forthcoming, or allowable for the purposes of this project according to "fair use" policies for educational purposes.


21027 Cro53r=ads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53137-l(,l;2 phone 262.796.3776, M . 2 i 2 . 7 g 5 . , , , 3

May 18,2001

Kalherine Perrault Dept. of Theatre and Dance Texas tech University Lubbock, TX Dear Ms. Perrault, We are pleased to grant permission to use the illustrations of the sky map and moon chart which appeared in the June 1999 Lssue of Astronomy, for use in your dissertation. Because the illustrations will be used for educational purposes, the usual republication fees -will be -waived, provided you credit us as follows: "Reproduced by permission. 1999, Astronomy. Thank you for your interest in Astronomy. Sincerely,

Terry Conley Editorial Associate/Permissions


17 May, 2001


Katherme Perrault Department of Theatre and Dance Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 7? Vo? -a<x:> i F: (806) 742-1338

Dear Ms. Perrault, Thank you for your email of today to Katia Stieglitz requesting permission to reproduce Marc Chagall's Dedicated to my Fiancee, Lovers with a Half-Moon, Circus, The Wedding Candles, Homage to Apollinaire, The Liberation, The Dream, and Midsummer Night's Dream in your forthcoming 6.\sssm.t\ov\. Astronomy, Alchemy, and Archetypes: An Integrated View of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.'' Permission is hereby granted for this use as detailed in your letter. No rights fees shall be attendant to this usage due to the educational use of the reproduction. Please note, however, in the event that any additional uses of the Chagall image are planned, additional permission must be obtained in advance

from ARS.
Also please include the following copyright credit line: 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, PAris If you have any flirther questions, feel free to contact nie. Sincerely, Dina Deitsch Artists Rights Society
5 3 6 BROADWAY, 5TH FL (AT SPfllNG ST.) NEW YORK. NEW YORK 10012 (TEL) 2 1 2 4 2 0 9160 (FAX) 21 2 4 2 0 9286



Chantilly, "le 31 mai 2001
BP 70243 - 60631 CHAKTILLY Telecopie : 33 - 03 44 62 62 61 Telephone : 33 - 03 44 62 62 62

Teias tech University Madame Katherine B. Perrault Dept. Of Theatre and Dance PO Box 42061 LUBBOCK, Tx. 79409-2061 USA

Ref.NG/ABLn 01-0518


Par votre counier en date du 21 de ce mois, vous m'informez de votre intention de reproduire d'apres I'ouvrage des editions Jean Longon et Raymond Cazelles, trois cliches du manuscrit 65, Les Tres Riches Heures du due de Berry, dans votre publication. Le repiquage etant interdit, je vous invite a contacter le service photographique de la Reunion des Musees Nationaux, qui gere notre fonds photographique et qui vous adressera les cliches souhartes. Cette demiere vous facturera les droits de reproduction dus au musee Conde pour toute reproduction d'csuvres appartenant a ses collections :

RMN Service Photographique 10, me de I'Abbaye 75006 PARIS T e l : F a j : 0L40JL3.46.01 Je vous prie d'agreer, Madame, I'expressioa de mes salutations distinguees.

Nicote Cjamier Conservateur en Chef du Patrimoine Chargee du Musee Conde 174

DaterFri, 18 May 2001 15:13:46 -0400 To: From: ] Block Address | Add to Address Book Subject: Re: Permission to Copy
The images to Atalanta and the Rosarium are in the public domain. If the other text is ancient, it would be too "De Sphaera" --from an Italian Manuscript, 15th Century "Splendor Solis"S. Trimosin, Londond, 16th Century "Viatoriim Spagyricxim"Heinrich Jamsthaler, 1625 "Septimana Philosophica"--M. Maier, 1616 "Philosophia Moysaica"Robert Fludd 163 8 "De geneologia mineralium" 1568from "Miscellanea d'alchimia" Italy 14th or 15th century "Quinta Essentia"L. Thumeisser, 1574 "Codex Urbanus Latinus 899" 15th century "Petre Apiani Cosmographia" --1539 (Peter Apian) Those are all in the public domain. If you are publishing a book and getting them from museums you might need to get permission, but for this type of use, certainly not. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * David Fideler, Ph.D., Editor Alexandria: Cosmology, Philosophy, Myth, and Culture PO Box 6114 Grand Rapids, MI 49516



Pvrntaton* BprWn<. 290 P%r A-^nw, N * - Yart, NT 10171

By fax to (806) 742-1338 June 12th, 2001 Kadierine Perrault Dept. of Theatre & Dance Texas Tech University P.O. Box 42061 Lubbock, TX 79409 Re: THE GLOW-IN-THE-DARK NIGHT SKY BOOK by Clinton Hatchett, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi Dear Ms. Perrault: We have no objection to your use of one or two illustrations from the above book in your dissertation and in the academic journal, INTERTEXTS, as requested in your letter, subject to the following conditions: 1. Such material must be reproduced exactly as it appears in our publication; 2. Full acknowledgment of the tide, author, copyright and publisher is given in the following form: From THE GLOW-IN-THE-DARK NIGHT SKY BOOK by Clinton Hatchett, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi. Illustradons copyright (c) 1988 by Stephen Marchesi. Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc. Best wishes for the success of your paper.


Lorraine DeMaxino Manager, Copyright & Permissions



Servizio Beni Culturali Ufficio Castello del Buonconsiglio Monument! e Collezioni Provinciali Via B.CIesio,5-3ai00Trenlo Tel. 0461233770- Fax 0461239497 Sig.a Katherine Perrault Dept. Of Theatre and Dance Texas Tech University LUBBOCK, Tx. USA


2 LUG. 2001

PROT. N.\^S^\ /01 c.23 - MT OGGETTO: riiascio permesso pubblicazione fotografiche patrimonio storico, artistico e popolare del Trentino. riproducentl beni del

In riferimento alia Sua gentile richiesta dd. 18.05.2001, pervenuta il 28.05.01, prot. n. 1240, considerato che la medesima puo essere accolta in quanto investe aspetti culturali, si rilascia il permesso di pubblicazione deiraffresco di settembre del cicio dei mesi di Torre Aquila. Ogni esemplare di riproduzione dovra indicare i dati identificativi dell'opera, nonche riportare la menzione: "Su concessione del Castello del Buonconsiglio. Monumenti e collezioni provinciali. Trento", e i'espressa awertenza del divieto di ulteriori riproduzioni o duplicazioni con qualsiasi mezzo. Distinti saluti. SOSTITUTO DEL DIRIGENTE - arch. Sanqro Blaim-