Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years. -- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021 Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.
Note to A Midsummer's Night Dream, 2.1.157-154:
"Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took / At a fair vestal throned by the west, And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow, / As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts; But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft / Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon, And the imperial votaress passed on, / In maiden meditation, fancy-free."
vestal virgin: one of the priestesses who had charge of the sacred fire in the temple of Vesta (a Roman female divinity, the daughter of Saturn, goddess of the hearth and household) at Rome.
Virgin Queen: Lines 157-164 have long been considered to be a compliment to Queen Elizabeth I, celebrating her status as a virgin queen, who invested her entire self in being the head of state. The lines end with fancy-free which means free of love's spell or love-thoughts.
a fair vestal throned by the west Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' Image Source