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Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the Fable of Ovid treting of Narcissus, by Thomas Hackett.
The possibility that the writings of Marsilio Ficino might have influenced William Shakespeare has been frequently voiced, but scholars have been faced with the difficulty that the transference of Ficino’s ideas in printed form from the Italian Renaissance to the England of Shakespeare’s time is not immediately traceable (Jayne 1985, 21-22). In the mid-twentieth century this became a specialist field of study due largely to the influence of the Warburg scholars at London’s Warburg Institute. The question that concerned critics like Frances Yates – if indeed we can call them critics, as their enquiries extend beyond the general area that literary criticism usually covers – was not just the influence of Renaissance Platonism on writers like Shakespeare, but the degree of its emphasis.
Scholarship that relies exclusively on locating primary sources is always difficult: it is hazardous to suggest that anything in Shakespeare can be derived from any one source.
This is particularly true with regard to Shakespeare’s use of occult traditions; the Warburg thesis with ‘its myth of coherence’ (Clulee 1988, 10) - from Ficino, to Bruno, to Dee, and hence to Shakespeare - is no longer much in vogue.
But even if it is difficult to argue that Shakespeare was directly acquainted with Ficino’s work from a specific source, it is even less probable that he would have no indirect knowledge of the philosopher’s ideas from some source. In this connection I would like to suggest a possible point of entry of Ficinian ideas into Shakespeare’s Macbeth, with particular reference to four specific images in the play: ‘innocent flower’ (1.5.65), ‘flattering streams’ (3.2.34), ‘perfumes of Arabia’ (5.1.47), and ‘walking shadow’ (5.5.24). This point of entry is by way of the short translated treatise written and printed in London in 1560 by Thomas Hackett. Its full title is as follows: The Fable of Ovid treting of Narcissus, translated out of Latin into English Mytre with a moral thereunto, very pleasante to rede MDLX.
The contents of this treatise, which is not paged, are these: The Printer to the Booke (1 p.); The Argument of the Fable (1 p.); Ovid’s ‘Fable’ (4 pp. in couplets, lines of twelve syllables and fourteen syllables alternately); the ‘Moralisation’ of the Fable in Ovid (26 pp. in seven-line stanzas); imprint, on reverse a woodcut of hunters with bows and dogs. The narrative section, which follows Ovid closely and apparently at first hand, consists of one hundred and ninety-two lines, while the moral section consists of eight hundred and ninety-six lines in seven-line stanzas. The latter embodies sermonising on topics traditionally connected with the story of Narcissus: ‘riches and bewty be vain’, ‘the transitory thinges of this world are not to be trusted,’ ‘all dysdayneful folks are compared unto Narcyssus’, and so on.
The theme of Hackett’s Fable as provided by the story of Narcissus is in keeping with the various Renaissance interpretations of the myth, which do not differ greatly.
The tragic consequences of self-love were considered a warning to those who would delight in the transitory glories of the world. Most Renaissance writers enlarge on this type of interpretation. For Comes, the myth of Narcissus was a warning: the dissolute and proud are inevitably punished by God (Bush 1932, 48). Boccaccio’s interpretation was similar. The water into which Narcissus looks – the ‘flattering mirror’- represents insubstantial worldly delights in which those who gaze see only their own glory, which soon passes away leaving reputations as transitory as a flower. This interpretation has a close relationship to the only overt treatment of the myth in English Renaissance literature, namely Jonson’s Cynthia’s Revels: ‘nature’s pride is now a wither’d daffodill’ (1. 2. 75). Thus, for Boccaccio and Comes, as well as for Hackett and Jonson, the principal application of the Narcissus myth is as a warning against the dangers of pride, flattery, and self-delusion (Bush 1932, 49).
The title of Hackett’s work ‘so pleasant to rede’ suggests Arthur Golding’s ‘pleasant and delectable’ version of Ovid published a few years later (in 1567). Indeed, it could be suggested that Hackett’s short treatise may have prompted Golding’s translation of the Metamorphoses; he might even owe something to Hackett’s metre, which differs from Golding’s only by a pause in place of a foot in the first line of each couplet. Hackett’s Ovid is an early product of what might be called ‘the Ovid industry’ in the English Renaissance. Hackett sweeps the way for Arthur Golding’s moralised and expostulatory poems of his 1567 translation of the Metamorphoses, and he provides us with some understanding of the contemporary understanding of Ovid as a ‘most learned and excellent poet’. Public - and literary - interest in the Metamorphoses were both stimulated and sustained by works like Hackett’s.
Obligingly enough, Hackett names some of his sources. Thirty-five lines elaborate on Boccaccio’s interpretation of Echo, the voice of empty delights that can lure men to their ruin. There is a reference to ‘walles’, namely the moralised Metamorphoses of Thomas Waleys through whom the writer offers a sufficiently instructive ‘deskant’. But more important than these, for our present purposes at least, is the Platonic discourse on the power of the soul over the body, taken from ‘Ficius’, namely Ficino, and which occupies eighty-four lines, a significant proportion of the entire moral section. The specific source is Ficino’s Commentarium in Convivium, or the Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love (Jayne 1985). Hackett knows Ovid’s version of the Narcissus myth, but he also knows Ficino’s Platonic version from Chapter 17 of the Sixth Oration of the Commentarium: ‘Hence the tragic fate of Narcissus which Orpheus records. Hence the pitiable calamity of men…’ (Jayne 1985, 140). Hackett begins with Ovid but he ends with Ficino, whereas Golding - his successor - does not. This variation is a slight one in the context of Ovidian studies, but it must be seen as significant from the point of view of the Platonic tradition in England.
In Mythology and the Renaissance Tradition in English Poetry, published in 1932, Douglas Bush wrote: ‘ an interest out of all proportion to literary merit attaches to Hackett’s Fable of Ovid treating of Narcissus ’ (Bush 1932, 47), a view which critics are still inclined to share. More recently, for example, A.B. Taylor edited a collection of essays on Shakespeare’s Ovid, the first of which – by R.W. Maslan - briefly discusses the centrality of Hackett’s work from an Ovidian perspective (Taylor 2000, 19-22). All discussions of Hackett’s Fable that I have come across have approached it from the direction of classical studies only. The Fable of Ovid treting of Narcissus has been almost totally ignored in scholarship from the point of view of the Platonic tradition. Yet in this treatise a basic acquaintance with Ficinian ideas was made available to a very wide public in Renaissance England.
Discussing the scarcity of Platonic texts in England Sears Jayne writes: ‘In England Ficino’s De Amore was known as early as 1500, when a copy of Ficino’s Latin Opera Platonis of 1484 was found at Cambridge. But the status of Plato in England was entirely different from the prestige he enjoyed in France. Between 1485 and 1578 there were more than a hundred different editions of various works of Plato in France; in England of the same period, not one. Between 1485 and 1578 the most influential statement of the theory of Platonic love, so far as England was concerned, was that in Castiglione’s Courtier which arrived in England in 1531 and was translated into English in 1561’ (Jayne 1985, 21-22).
Hackett’s treatise, printed a year before the translation of Castiglione, gains in significance, given the context out of which it grew. It provides an early clear expression of one aspect of Ficino’s Commentarium, although in a short and limited form. It is certainly one of the first published treatises in England that mentions Ficino by name. In this regard the influence of Hackett’s pamphlet may indeed have been considerable. In his discussion of Hackett and other writers who provided ‘early’ versions of Ovid in Elizabethan England, R.W. Maslan writes: ‘It seems to me not unreasonable to suppose that Shakespeare would have been interested in a good many other Ovidian poets besides Golding when he first began to write’ (Taylor 2000, 28-29).
I would certainly agree with this. I suggest that Shakespeare was among many Elizabethans who knew Hackett’s pamphlet, that he knew its Platonic as well as to its Ovidian content, and that he used this content specifically in Macbeth. The specifics are four striking images in the play.
I will deal with the last of them first: the actor image. The imagery of Macbeth has been approached from a variety of directions, and numerous chains of images occur in the play. The crucial figure of speech, however, is the metaphor of the king as actor. Macbeth invokes the figure of the player-king in his last great soliloquy:
‘To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.’ (5.5.19-28)
It has been noticed how several types of imagery in the play are presented here in a kind of summation: darkness and light, wasted time, strangled sunlight and occulted stars, the blaze of the witches’ fire contrasted with the simple domestic candle, and so forth (Kantak 1963, 42-52).
But the image that powerfully stands out is that of the ‘walking shadow’, the ‘poor player’. The image of ‘man the actor’ is used in a seminal way throughout Shakespeare’s plays, and is an important motif in his tragedies. The most striking use of the motif is Macbeth’s assertion here at the end of the play.
Frank Kermode is one of the more recent critics to discusse the aesthetic context of this image in Shakespeare’s Language: ‘the idea of the reflection as the shadow of a substance was precious to Shakespeare, and it always called forth fine contemplative verse’ (Kermode 2000, 88). But more interesting still is the imagery’s cultural context.
Being both actor and dramatist it is not surprising that Shakespeare was drawn to the huge possibilities of theatrical language, particularly in Macbeth. Anne Righter says: ‘From his coronation to the moment of his death, Macbeth is surrounded with words and phrases suggestive of the theatre…This image of the world as stage regarded from above by some superhuman audience is of course a traditional one’ (Righter 1962: 118). A ‘traditional one,’ certainly; but a Platonic one also, with a textual tradition behind it. In Fable about Man for example , Juan Luis Vives had articulated the connection between the rise of drama and the conception of the protean nature of man, which had been presented to the Renaissance by Pico’s Oration (Cassirer, 1971) .
This connection was strengthened when Vives came to England in 1523 (Acroyd 1999, 236). Through writers like Vives we can place the actor image within the context of humanist discourse. There was a complexity about the word ‘humanist’; it was an ambiguous term from the start, and so also was the Platonic tradition in England by which it was nourished.
Vives was a ‘respectable’ Platonist who knew Thomas More. But he also knew the works of Ficino and Pico, which he brought to an English audience. In this regard, as in so many other ways in the English Renaissance, there was continuity rather than change. Within this continuity we can place the works of Shakespeare.
I suggest that the primary source of the ‘actor-as-shadow’ image in Macbeth is a Platonic one, namely Ficino’s Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love. There is a specific connection between Ficino’s treatise and Shakespeare’s play. The document that brings them together is Hackett’s Fable of Ovid treting of Narcissus. But how exactly?
In the ‘Moral Section’, Hackett uses Ovid’s fable of Narcissus as the starting point for a discussion on the Platonic idea of mind and body. The latter is an insubstantial thing, so deficient of consequence that Hackett can substitute the word ‘shadowe’ for ‘body’ on five occasions without any confusion of meaning. Other words are used to buttress his theme of the mind’s supremacy over the body, and of the latter’s attributes as being mere reflections of the Platonic forms: ‘shape’, ‘shade’, ‘guise’, ‘nothinge’, ‘naught’, ‘blind’, ‘blindly’. The penultimate stanza of the Moral Section is a summation of the ideas expressed throughout the Fable:
‘And when this mind had wroght so moche amiss
Thus blindly from his perfect place to fall
We moste needs graunte a kinde of death it is
A thyne divine and perfect to be thrall
When this immortal mind shall seek to serve
Eche mortall thinge his vertue nedes muste sterve.’
When Hackett writes at the start of the next and final stanza ‘This is the meaning of Ficius sense/That in this wise one Plato doth wryghte’, he has two specific locations from Ficino’s Commentarium in mind. The first is Chapter 4 of the Second Discourse: :‘But the Forms of the bodies seem to be shadows of things, rather than true things. But just as the shadow of a body does not represent the exact and clear shape of the shadow, so bodies do not represent the proper nature of things divine…For in what way can mortal things be like immortal or false like true?’ (Jayne 1985, 51).
The second location comprises the two final paragraphs from Chapter 17 of the Seventh Discourse. In the first of these paragraphs Ficino’s ‘shadow imagery’ predominates in his discussion of body and soul. This paragraph begins: ‘Moreover, the light of the sun in water is a kind of shadow compared to its brighter light in the air.’ It ends as follows: ‘Only our soul, I say, is so captivated by the charms of corporeal beauty that it neglects its own beauty, and forgetting itself, runs after the beauty of the body, which is a mere shadow of its own beauty.’ (Jayne op cit, 140). The word ‘shadow’ is used seven times here; it leads Ficino comfortably into the final paragraph, the discussion of Narcissus:
‘Hence the tragic fate of Narcissus…Hence the pitiable calamity of men. Narcissus …the soul of rash and inexperienced man. Does not look at his own face, that is, does not notice its own substance and character at all. But admires the reflection of it in the water and tries to embrace that; that is, the soul admires in the body…a beauty which is the shadow of the soul itself. He abandons his own beauty but he never reaches the reflection.
That is, the soul, in pursuing the body, neglects itself, but finds no gratification… seduced like Narcissus…And since it never notices the fact that, while it is desiring one thing, it is pursuing another, it never satisfies its desire. For this reason, melted into tears, he is destroyed; that is, when the soul is located outside itself…it is wracked by terrible passions, and, stained by the filths of the body, it dies…’ (Jayne 1985, 140-141).
It seems plausible to suggest Hackett’s Fable as Shakespeare’s route to Ficino. The pamphlet was both readily available and - one presumes - widely read, and was a primary source for Golding’s Metamorphoses. Shakespeare’s knowledge of the Metamorphoses is, of course, quite certain. The poem is actually named in Titus Andronicus (4.1.42), and in the same scene Young Lucius makes reference to Hecuba of Troy drawn directly from Ovid’s Thirteenth Book. We can also be certain that Shakespeare knew Lodge’s Scylla’s Metamorphoses “whose stanza he borrowed for Venus and Adonis” (Greenblatt 2005, 207), and he probably knew a lot of other ‘Ovids’ as well. But given his familiarity with Golding’s Ovid, it is not unlikely that Shakespeare was familiar with Hackett’s Fable, Golding’s stimulus and source, and one of the first popularisers of Ovid in Elizabethan England. Hackett knows Ovid’s fable of Narcissus.
But he also knows Ficino’s treatment of the same myth in the Commentarium. In his own version of the fable Hackett brings both these sources together. The primary source of the shadow image in the Fable is Ficino’s treatment of the Narcissus myth the Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love.
The use of the image in both Hackett and Ficino is identical to Shakespeare’s usage in Macbeth: ‘Life’s but a walking shadow…’ (5.5.24)
The specific presentation of the actor as a ‘walking shadow’ is an important one in Shakespeare. But it is not confined to him. It is a particularly dominant image in the ‘Epistle Dedicatory’ to Andromeda Liberata, the poem by Chapman which contains the most extensive borrowings from Ficino:
‘…the body’s shadow can never
Show the distinct and exact form of man…
For how can mortall things immortall show?
Or that which is false represent the true?’ (63-64, 67-68)
In his unpublished thesis of 1976 – still one of the most comprehensive studies of English Platonism that I have come across - R.W. Hamilton suggested the Second Oration, Chapter IV, of Ficino’s Commentary as the primary source for the shadow image in Shakespeare, the route being directly through the Commentary itself, or indirectly through Chapman’s Andromeda Liberata (Hamilton 1976, 275).
Correct in his text, Hamilton is I think wrong in his context, and I would suggest a small modification of his view. That Shakespeare should have bothered to confer with Chapman, the rival poet in Sonnet 86, seems to me unlikely. Also, even if we accept the Andromeda as the way to Ficino, we are still faced with the problem of dating as Macbeth precedes Andromeda by a number of years.
To argue from the point of view of manuscripts or other extraneous sources is to suggest connections that cannot easily be maintained. There is no need to in any case, if we can accept that Hackett’s Fable made the image easily accessible and available.
So Hackett’s Fable is Shakespeare’s link with Ficino. Secondly, I suggest that Shakespeare had Hackett’s Fable in mind when composing two other related images in the play. Prior to the banquet scene a world-weary Macbeth complains: ‘we / Must lave our honours in these flattering streams…’(3.2.33-4). Here, the association of flattery with the flattering reflection of one’s image in a stream connects Macbeth’s words to the Narcissus myth as understood by its Renaissance commentators in general, and Hackett in particular. Narcissus barters his estate for the insubstantial shadow in the stream. The result of this exchange is his transformation into a flower – ‘nature’s pride is now a wither’d daffodil’ as Jonson expresses it – an image of transience and impermanent radiance.
This leads me to consider a third image that may have deferred to Hackett as its stimulus and source. In the persuasion scene, Macbeth’s face is ‘a book where men may read strange matters’, and Lady Macbeth exhorts him to ‘look like the innocent flower…’(1.5.65).
The face/flattery/stream/flower associations gain in significance and are given some measure of irony when seen in the light of contemporary treatments of the Narcissus myth, especially Hackett’s.
It is possible, of course, to push the parallels between Hackett’s Fable and Shakespeare’s Macbeth too far. Nevertheless I would suggest one final interesting correspondence between these two texts. In the Fable Hackett expounds at length on the dangers of flattery and uses the Narcissus myth as a convenient starting point for his moralising. The most dangerous flattery is that which panders to an inordinate trust in one’s own powers and personal attributes. Narcissus is the primary example of such a danger.
A secondary example is provided by Cleopatra’s life which, though ‘rich and derely bought’ still descended into chaos and ruin, ending in suicide. All ‘the sweets of Arabia’ were unable to outweigh her misery at the end. An interesting verbal parallel with Lady Macbeth is suggested here. Like Cleopatra, Lady Macbeth’s life ends in suicide. The Gentlewoman calls attention to the misery of her demise, and the meaninglessness of her grandeur: ‘I would not have such a heart in my bosom, for the dignity of the whole body’ (5.1.51-2). More significant still is Lady Macbeth’s own comment when seen in the light of Hackett’s Cleopatra: ‘all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand’ (5.1.47).
In this short discussion I have opted for the minimum necessary rather than the maximum possible in suggesting connections between Shakespeare and the Platonic tradition, confining my comments to Macbeth and centring my observations on Hackett’s Fable.
For example, I see a curious correspondence between Lady Macbeth’s aside in Act 3 Scene 2: ‘Nought’s had, all’s spent, /When our desire is got without content…’ (4-5) and Ficino’s comment on a lost soul in the Commentarium:
‘And since it never notices the fact that, while it is desiring one thing, it is pursuing another, it never satisfies its desire’ (Jayne 1985, 141). But because the phrase appears only in Ficino and not in Hackett, I have chosen to discount it. I agree with Frank Kermode when he writes:
‘Shakespeare was a thinker who did his thinking in dramatic dialogue. Of course the thinking is not of the sort that might be expected of a philosopher or a divine; as Wallace Stevens mused, the probing of the philosopher is deliberate, the probing of the poet fortuitous.’ (Kermode 2000, 127).
We should not look for a theoretical justification of their views in terms of a doctrine comparable, say, to the Gnostic systems. The only justification for the creative writer will be an aesthetic one. I would add that Shakespeare was drawn to the more theatrical aspects of the Platonic tradition, which is why we can make a case for Vives, Hackett, Ficino, and the actor image.
I began with Frances Yates, and I would like to end with her. She believed she was correct in her theory because she was correct in her text. But printed texts on alchemy, magic, Hermeticism and the like are almost nonexistent from English presses in the Renaissance period. MacPhail lists only two books published in England in Elizabeth’s reign: Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) and Ripley’s Compound of Alchemy (1591).
All other titles – eighty-one in all, seventy-two to the death of Shakespeare – have continental imprints (MacPhail 1968). Given this scarcity of texts, Frances Yates overstressed the importance of those texts that did exist, especially those of her protagonists, Giordano Bruno and John Dee. It is certain that Shakespeare knew of Giordano Bruno (Yates 1973). There is one interesting biographical connection. Richard Field had come from Stratford-on-Avon, where his father and Shakespeare’s father were associates, to serve as an apprentice to the printer Thomas Vautrollier who was one of the publishers of Bruno’s works. But if Shakespeare knew these works he also chose to ignore them, and no major case can be made for Shakespeare and Bruno without special pleading. Instead, he was drawn to another of Vautrollier’s publications which became one of his favourites, and a principal source for four of his plays: Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives (Greenblatt 2005, 193) .
But Thomas Vautrollier was not the only publisher of Bruno. Another was John Charlewood of London. I wish to draw attention to Charlewood so to suggest that publication of Bruno had more to do with his status as a continental rather than as a specifically Hermetic writer. If I am correct in my suggestion, then the publication of Bruno’s works in England can be looked at quite differently.
Bruno was the author of six books which John Charlewood published in 1584 and 1585 using surreptitious imprints, Venice and Paris. All six works were written in Italian, and it seems that a fictitious foreign imprint helped to boost sales in England of a book published in a foreign language (Woodfield 1973).
None of Bruno’s books were entered in the Stationer’s Register, presumably because Charlewood did not consider publication of Bruno’s works to be of greater merit than any other work surreptitiously printed, and would therefore have wished to avoid the unnecessary expense of entering them.
Denis Woodfield has shown that the main motive for Charlewood’s interest in Bruno’s books was because, by 1590, there was already a large domestic market for any books published in foreign vernaculars. Most educated Elizabethans spoke at least one foreign language and were naturally interested in foreign books which would help to extend their linguistic abilities. A pertinent reference to the contemporary situation is contained in Ben Jonson’s Every Man Out of his Humour (1598). Cordatus says of Clove in Act 3, Scene 1:
‘He will sit you a whole afternoon sometimes in a bookseller’s shop reading the Greek, Italian and Spanish, when he understands not a word of either; if he had the tongue of his suits, he were an excellent linguist’ (Woodfield 1973, 37).
Clove’s attempted imitation of his betters shows that they could read Italian and Spanish probably as well as they could read Greek, and that booksellers like John Charlewood, or Thomas Vautrollier for that matter, were well stocked in these languages. Stephen Greenblatt restates the case in his recent biography of Shakespeare: ‘It is worth noting…that Shakespeare’s reading, and indeed the entire Elizabethan book trade, was conspicuously international. The reading public, by modern standards, may have been fairly small, but its interests were strikingly cosmopolitan’ (Greenblatt 2005, 270).
The point is this: a case can be made for the Platonic tradition in England, but not always in the way Frances Yates made it. Scholarship is not called to absolutes, but only to the best reconstructions given accurately. Similarly, a theory does not have to be perfect or even able to answer absolutely all objections to it. A theory must simply be better than its alternatives, by solving quantitively and qualitively more problems than it rises. Our sources are Shakespeare’s plays on the one hand and the Platonic tradition on the other. Neither is derived from a single source. Both must be read critically and combined carefully. Frances Yates chose the maximum possible, rather than the minimum necessary. But investigation of ‘lesser’ or ‘more common’ sources, such as Hackett’s Fable, might in the end give a ‘truer’ picture of the Platonic tradition in England, and lead to better results.
For many of us who began as her disciples her work created all sorts of problems, and I think that is why it was moved very soon to the periphery of Shakespearean studies.
I will give the final word to Robert Westman. Speaking in March 1974 at the Clark Library Seminar, California, on the Hermetic tradition he said the following: “Whatever objections will be raised in this paper to [Frances] Yates’s overuse of this new explanatory resource, she has caused scholars of early modern thought to look at problems and to ask questions that might not otherwise have been raised” (Westman & McGuire, 1977). Those of us who followed tentatively in her footsteps can at least agree with this appraisal.
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Bush, Douglas . 1932. Mythology and the Renaissance Tradition in English Poetry. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
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Jayne, Sears. 1985 edn. Marsilio Ficino: Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love. Woodstock Conn: Spring Publications.
Hackett, Thomas. 1560. The Fable of Ovid treting of Narcissus, translated out of Latin into English Mytre with a moral thereunto, very pleasante to rede . London.
Hamilton, R.W. 1976. John Donne and the Platonic Tradition. Ph.D. thesis University of York.
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Kantak, V.Y. 1963. ‘The Actor-Image in Macbeth ’, Shakespeare Survey 16. Cambridge: University Press.
MacPhail, Ian. 1968. Alchemy and the Occult: A Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts from the Collection of Paul and Mary Mellon, Vol. 1, Printed Books 1472-1623, Yale: University Press.
Righter, Anne.1962. Shakespeare and the Idea of the Play. London: Chatto & Windus.
Taylor, A.B. (ed). 2000. Shakespeare’s Ovid: The ‘Metamorphoses’ in the Plays and Poems. Cambridge: University Press.
Westman, Robert & McGuire J.E. 1977. Hermeticism and the Scientific Revolution L.A.: William Clark Memorial Library, University of California.
Woodfield, Denis. 1973. Surreptitious Printing in England 1550-1640. New York: Bibliographical Society of America.
Yates, Frances. 1973. A Study of Love’s Labours Lost. London: Routledge.
From: Dr. Joseph Ducke. Summerhill, Athlone. Eire.
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- Joseph Ducke (Author), 2007, About Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' and the 'Fable of Ovid treting of Narcissus' by Thomas Hackett, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/110628