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Table of Contents

Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being (1993 corrected & expanded paperback edition)


PART I: The Immature Phase of the Tragic Equation

CHAPTER 1: Conception and Gestation of the Equation's Tragic Myth: the Sonnets, Venus and Adonis, Lucrece

  • Shakespeare turns to poetry
  • The Sonnets as the matrix of Venus and Adonis
  • Venus and Adonis as theology
  • The Sonnets and Shakespeare's love
  • The Dark Lady and the Goddess
  • Venus and Adonis: the Tragic Equation's moment of conception
  • Venus and Adonis and the Hippolytus of Euripides
  • Historical background of the Tragic Equation
  • Lucrece as a metaphysical poem
  • The contrapuntal symmetry of Venus and Adonis and Lucrece
  • Shakespeare's vision as prophecy
  • Venus and Adonis as a shamanic initiation dream

CHAPTER 2: Birth, Childhood and Adolescence of the Tragic Equation: As You Like It, All's Well that Ends Well, A Lover's Complaint, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida

  • Shakespeare takes up the spiritual quest
  • As You Like It: Jaques
  • Two kinds of ritual drama
  • As You Like It: the ritual pattern
  • Autobiography in All's Well that Ends Well
  • All's Well: the ritual pattern
  • All's Well: entry of the Mythic Equation
  • The three sources of All's Well that Ends Well
  • Shakespeare's double language and the verbal device
  • The evolutionary history of the verbal device
  • The double language as translation
  • The double language in All's Well that Ends Well
  • Shakespeare's hieroglyphic system
  • The verbal device and Tragic Equation as brain maps
  • A Lover's Complaint: the heroine's guilty secret
  • Measure for Measure: the Mythic Equation comes to consciousness
  • Troilus and Cressida: the Mythic Equation becomes the Tragic Equation
  • Troilus and Cressida: the new factor and the different madness
  • The Trojan War: the incubation of the Tragic Equation
  • The secret nature of Diomed
  • The Boar's track into the battle
  • The Hunt staged as the death of Hector
  • The Trojan War as two warped mirrors
  • Troilus and Cressida as the first Tragedy of Divine Love

PART II: The Evolution of the Tragic Equation through the Seven Tragedies


  • The dominance of the mythic plane
  • The constant factors of the Shakespearean moment
  • Variants
  • The tragic madness

CHAPTER 3: The Tragic Equation Matures and Mutates: Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear

  • At wit's end
  • Othello: the Iago factor
  • Othello: the Tragic Equation in the body
  • Hamlet: the Tragic Equation in the mind
  • Macbeth: X-ray of the Shakespearean moment
  • King Lear: a triple Tragic Equation
  • King Lear as a reactivation of its mythic sources
  • Lear, the Fool, Mad Tom and Cordelia
  • The silence of Cordelia

CHAPTER 4: The Tragic Equation Makes Its Soul: Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra

  • Subterranean transition
  • Timon of Athens: the Tragic Equation without the Female
  • Coriolanus: the Female survives the Tragic Equation
  • The tragic hero as the Rival Brother
  • Antony and Cleopatra as a bridging work
  • Antony and Cleopatra: the new factors
  • Antony and Cleopatra as a tragedy
  • Antony and Cleopatra as a theophany

PART III: The Transformation of the Tragic Equation in the Last Plays


  • The impossible thing
  • Root meanings of the Equation
  • The magician's task

CHAPTER 5: The Tragic Hero Brought to Judgement: Cymbeline, Pericles, The Winter's Tale

  • The mutant emerges
  • Cymbeline: the tragic hero reborn
  • Pericles and the Gnostic myth of Sophia
  • The Tragic Equation in court
  • The Winter's Tale: the cry and the silence
  • The Winter's Tale: Leontes as the tragic error
  • The Winter's Tale: the Tragic Equation becomes a theophany
  • The pattern of the Gnostic Coda in The Winter's Tale
  • Hermione's plea as the voice of Heaven and Earth

CHAPTER 6: The Dismantling of the Tragic Equation: The Tempest

  • The beginning in the end
  • The Tempest as a Gnostic coda
  • The Storm
  • The evolution of the Storm up to Macbeth
  • The two selves of the Flower
  • The Storm changes planes: Macbeth's vision
  • The Storm passes to the Female
  • The Storm and the Flower
  • The Tragic Equation in The Tempest
  • Prospero's tripartite brother
  • The Tempest and Dido
  • Miranda as Dido reborn
  • The Gnostic pattern in The Tempest
  • Ulysses and the mythic background of The Tempest
  • Circe
  • The Tempest: a precarious moment in the alchemy
  • Ariel and the Harpy
  • The Masque in The Tempest: the defeat of Venus
  • The Masque as the nativity of a god
  • The Masque as the twin birth of Tragedy and Transcendence
  • The triumph of the lame hunter
  • The Tempest as a keyboard for playing the Complete Works
  • Caliban's genetic make-up
  • Prospero dismantles the Tragic Equation
  • Ariel's ancestry
  • The evolution of Shakespeare's poetry: the Boar, the Storm and the Flower
  • The Equation in five early plays
  • Caliban's blackness

POSTSCRIPT: The Boar with a Flower in its Mouth


I. The Tragic Equation in Henry VIII and Two Noble Kinsmen
II. The Perpetuum Mobile
III. The Equation in The Merchant of Venice