‘Thou art not what thou seem’st’
Tarquin’s inner stage and outer action
in William Shakespeare and John Donne
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact manchesterhive@manchester.ac.uk for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

This chapter focuses on the struggle and internal debate that is taking place in Tarquin’s soul and the outer action he takes, namely the rape of Lucrece. From the beginning, Tarquin’s self is described as being divided, which has an effect on his body and his soul: he experiences both a physiomachia and a psychomachia. Tarquin’s inner forces, his reason and his will, fight each other, and, eventually, reason is overcome. Shakespeare bases this character representation on patterns from medieval morality plays and allegorizes Tarquin but also lends him psychological depth on this basis. In Tarquin’s encounter with Lucrece, a relationship of exchange becomes obvious between them: she becomes the voice of reason, and, after the rape, a link is created between her body and his soul. The chapter also takes into account contemporary and classical sources on inner debates and the soul.

William Shakespeare and John Donne

Stages of the soul in early modern English poetry


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 52 15 2
Full Text Views 37 0 0
PDF Downloads 10 2 0