Saturday, October 12, 2019

Shakespeare References in The Mummy Or Ramses The Damned

Anne Rice’s novel The Mummy Or Ramses The Damned contains a few Shakespeare references. As Cleopatra is a character in the story, you might expect a couple of references to Antony And Cleopatra, and you’ll get them. But there are other references as well. The first reference is related to Antony And Cleopatra. Anne Rice writes, “A Greek Cleopatra, not the silly Egyptian image so popular in programmes for Shakespeare’s tragedy, or in the engravings which illustrated Plutarch’s Lives and popular histories galore” (p. 44). A second reference soon follows: “The splendour of the supernatural was a thing for stories and poems, and Shakespeare’s plays” (p. 45). And then we get another reference to Antony And Cleopatra: “Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra was enjoying a long run in London. She and Alex had meant to go and see it, but then Alex fell asleep during serious plays” (p. 48).

The next is a reference to a statue of Shakespeare: “Westminster Abbey. They walked together under the high arches. Such splendor. She showed him the cenotaph of Shakespeare” (p. 116). (It is interesting to me that this book contains two different spellings of the word “splendor.”) And then we go back to Antony And Cleopatra: “The greatest men of the time paid court to her. Hers was a royal soul in every sense of the word. Why do you think your Shakespeare wrote about her?” (p. 189). This novel also contains a reference to Macbeth. After Alex, concerned for his father, says he’s going to call the doctor, Elliott says: “Would Lady Macbeth have benefited from a doctor? I don’t think a doctor would have helped her” (p. 301).

The Mummy Or Ramses The Damned was published in 1989. The copy I read says “First Edition,” but it is a large trade paperback, so clearly is not a first edition.

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