The Magical Dimensions of the Globe

WhoGlobeThere’s a particularly good episode of Doctor Who (“The Shakespeare Code”) wherein the Doctor and Martha visit Shakespeare and save the world from a conspiracy of witches. The witches’ plan is to take possession of Shakespeare and force him to write magical incantations into the (now lost) play Love’s Labours Won. (It’s not really magic, of course, but some quantum dynamical dimension of psychic energy… well, whatever.) When the play is then performed in the Globe Theater and the psychic words are spoken, a transgalactic portal will open up, through which an entire population of witches – really, in fact, members of an alien species known as the Carrionites – will march through and take over the world. Luckily, the Doctor is wise to the plans, and he and Martha improvise a counter-spell on the spot and disaster is thereby averted.

It’s crucial to the plot that the witchy words be spoken in the Globe, because the witches had previously forced its architect to frame the theater according to magical dimensions: fourteen symmetrical walls into which some sort of string-theoretic alchemical pentagram might be interpolated, or something like that. The point is, the layout of the place is critical for the magic to do its work.

I have recently been reading Frances Yates’ classic work of history, The Art of Memory (1966), which suggests that this latter point may not be so far fetched.


About Huenemann

Curious about the ways humans use their minds and hearts to distract themselves from the meaninglessness of life.
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