REVIEW
Maguin, Jean-Marie. "Shakespeare, Hypnos, and Thanatos:
Romeo and Juliet in the Space of Myth." Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: Texts, Contexts, and Interpretation. Ed. Jay L. Halio. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1995. 37-48.

Thesis: Maguin transforms Romeo and Juliet into an allegory of the relationship between Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death), and asserts that:

The Friar's great work is actually an imposture, a scandal against nature. The substance he has prepared is neither a poison that kills, like that administered through the ear by Claudius to Hamlet's father, nor is it an ordinary sleeping draught. The state induced subsumes death and sleep. The rival brothers Hypnos and Thanatos are now confronted with a new impure sibling: Hypthanatos. The Friar's failure is not at all technical -- the drug works perfectly -- the failure is a poetic one. One should follow nature in art rather than go against it and thus create new hybrid forms. Fortune and her wheel arbitrate the situation, and, yes, it is quite credible that the Friar should lose.   (44)

Bottom Line: Far-out.


PAGE INFO:
   Author: Philip Weller
   Last Modified: 2 April 2002