Number and Geometry in Shakespeare's Macbeth

The Flower and the Serpent

Sylvia Eckersley

Out of print

Quick Look

A rigorous analysis of number patterns and rhythms in one of Shakespeare's great plays, which could have a profound influence on future interpretations and productions.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Art & Literature; Mind, Body, Spirit
9 colour photographs and 30 b/w diagrams
348 pages
Publication date:
12 Jul 2007


In the Renaissance world, artists and architects often composed their canvasses and buildings according to numerical and musical harmonies. Many major poets, including Dante, Spenser and Milton, did the same in their work. Shakespeare's poems have been analysed for their numerology, but surprisingly his plays have not.

Sylvia Eckersley had studied scene-symmetry in Shakespeare's plays, and was struck by the exact middle lines of Macbeth as numbered on a First Folio edition:

See they encounter thee with their harts thanks
Both sides are euen: heere Ile sit i'th' mid'st

She was inspired to investigate further, and this book is the fascinating result. She has uncovered never-before documented number patterns and rhythms in Macbeth which could profoundly influence future interpretations and productions of the great play.

This is an important book for Shakespeare scholars and numerology experts alike.


Sylvia Eckersley, the daughter of Thomas Lydwell Eckersley, an eminent scientist in the field of radar research, developed her ideas on Shakespeare over more than twenty five years. She completed this book, with the help of many dedicated colleagues, before her death in 2001.

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