Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

My essay explores the intersections of early modern air, bodily spirits, and the passions in Shakespeare’s plays. Bodily spirits were understood as subtle bodies that yearned to be reunited with the air, an account that simultaneously linked the inside of the body with the ambient world and the passions with the ethereal element. The cognate nature of air and spirits offers insight into porous borders of subjectivity, the passions, imagination, consciousness, and human relationship. Taking Cymbeline and The Tempest as my central texts, I examine this relationship through the homonymic heir-air that joins reproduction, inheritance, and the ethereal in the plays. Through my investigation of language as air-borne, the nature of augury and dreams, and the emotionally inflected properties of embodied and disembodied winds and spirits, I suggest that the world’s animism is transposed in complex ways into a new understanding of the human psyche.

Keywords: spirits, air, passions, subjectivity, dreams, early modern psychology, The Tempest, Cymbeline

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.