Shakespeare's Flowering of the Spirit

Margaret Bennell; Edited by Isabel Wyatt

Out of print

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Studies the qualities of Shakespeare's plays that made them popular.

210 x 165 mm
Lanthorn Press
Art & Literature
272 pages
Publication date:
01 Jan 1971


What is the quality in Shakespeare's dramas which gives them their perennial human appeal and makes them as popular today as they were to his own contemporaries?

Many Shakespearian critics have sought to answer this question. Margaret Bennell, however, approaches the problem by venturing into the relatively untrodden domain of the inner soul-spiritual development of the dramatist. She illustrates her study with details from plays including Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, King Lear and The Tempest. She also makes frequent reference to the Rosicrucian spiritual movement that was a dominant influence of that age.

This is a challenging and informative book, a must for any student of Shakespeare.

Table of Contents

Part One: The Soul's History: The Man
I Shakespeare's Descent from the Mysteries
II Shakespeare's England
III The Mermaid Tavern
IV Shakespeare's Life
V Shakespeare's World of Pictures

Part Two: The Soul's History: The Plays
VI Love's Labours Lost
VII A Midsummer Night's Dream
VIII The Merchant of Venice
IX Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
X King Lear
XI Pericles, Prince of Tyre
XII The Winter's Tale
XIII The Tempest
XIV Epilogue

Appendix: Outline of The Chymical Wedding


Margaret Bennell (1887-1971) founded the Wynstones Steiner-Waldorf School near Gloucester, and in 1948 founded Hawkwood College near Stroud as an international centre for the study of anthroposophy. She died before she could complete Shakespeare's Flowing of the Spirit.

Isabel Wyatt (1901-1992) is a well-known collector and re-teller of stories for children, and her books include The Seven-Year-Old Wonder Book and The Book of Fairy Princes. She worked closely with Margaret Bennell at Hawkwood College where they produced joint lecture-courses. It was this close cooperation that enabled Isabel Wyatt to complete and edit Shakespeare's Flowering of the Spirit after Margaret Bennell's death.

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