Shakespeare and the Stars
The Hidden Astrological Keys to Understanding the World’s Greatest Playwright
CLICK HERE TO ORDER from Red Wheel/Weiser. $29.95
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this book offers fresh and exciting insights into the ever-popular works of the world’s greatest playwright. It specifically highlights Shakespeare’s use of the archetypal language of astrological symbolism in both obvious and subtle ways. The deeper significance of such references is often lost to modern-day playgoers and readers.
The author demonstrates that many of Shakespeare’s plays are entirely keyed to a specific zodiacal sign and its associated (or ruling) planet. Shakespeare’s audience would have grasped their significance in revealing character, foreshadowing plot, and establishing key themes for each play.
The first half of the book provides the necessary background for understanding the plays by describing the synthesis of both classical and Christian ideas at the time. The seven planets were considered an integral part of the cosmos—instrumental in shaping human character. The Elizabethan worldview also explains the use of music, images, and symbols in the plays.
The second half of this study examines six of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays in the light of astrological symbolism. These include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, The Tempest, and King Lear. Each chapter incorporates related and relevant information from astrological tradition, classical and Renaissance philosophy, Greek and Roman mythology, esoteric wisdom, modern psychology (especially that of C. G. Jung), and great literature.
Thoroughly researched and well illustrated with many examples from the plays, this book offers a brilliant synthesis that challenges conventional literary criticism of Shakespeare’s works. By grounding its analysis in verifiable historical information and conveying it in clear and accessible prose, modern readers will find the plays illuminated from a fresh perspective with profound understanding.
Priscilla Costello, M.A., Dipl. CAAE, is a teacher, writer, speaker, and counseling astrologer. An enthusiastic lover of Shakespeare’s work, she taught English language and literature for over 30 years. As a professional astrologer, she has the unique ability to synthesize Shakespeare’s literary and astrological themes. Founder and Director of The New Alexandria, a center for religious, spiritual, and esoteric studies, she is also the author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Practical Astrology.
Literature, Astrology, Psychology
Paperback with black & white illustrations
Ebook: ISBN 978-0-89254-631-2
536 pp. • 6 x 9
CLICK HERE TO ORDER from Red Wheel/Weiser.