Ages of Man

(redirected from Brazen Age)
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The medieval Wheel of Life with the five Ages of Man: child, young man, mid-life, older, and senescent. Reproduced by permission of Fortean Picture Library.

Ages of Man

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Ages of Man refers to the ancient notion that the different stages of human life are ruled by different planets and the luminaries (i.e., the Sun and the Moon). The traditional schema was as follows: Moon—growth (ages 1–4); Mercury—education (5–14); Venus—emotion (15–22); Sun—virility (23–42); Mars—ambition (43–57); Jupiter—reflection (58–69); and Saturn—resignation (70–99).

References in periodicals archive ?
8) Despite the wide acceptance of this argument, closer inspection reveals that the two plays about Hercules cannot be derived from the poem since it does not deal in large areas of their subject matter, except in the briefest outline, including Jupiter's seductions of Alcmena and Semele, and Hercules' birth in The Silver Age, the Achelous / Deineira / Nesus story, and Hercules' madness and death, nor the stories of Venus coupling with Adonis and Mars in The Brazen Age.
Thus in The Brazen Age where one might have thought Jason's exploits with the bulls ploughing and the armed men springing from the dragon's teeth defied representation, Heywood, within his own terms, has a very steady hand and always finds a solution that will appeal to his audience's imagination:
Nor is there evidence that 2 Hercules/The Brazen Age made much use of flying performers: Medea hangs in the air over a tableau of beasts discovered within a stage facade aperture, presumably using the earlier lift; and at the end, after Hercules has immolated himself:
Even here, however, flying only occurs in the first three Ages plays; it is of a circumspect nature in The Brazen Age (as discussed above); in the prefatory material, only that of The Golden Age indicates performance at the Red Bull, but the present text appears to have two endings--one terminating with the reconciliation of Jupiter and Ganymede, then a puff for the plays that would eventually succeed it, and then a second ending with Jupiter's deification.
Omphale in The Brazen Age is crushed by rocks, and the Empress in Alphonsus Emperor of Germany dragged by the hair (along with many others).
The most obvious reason for rejecting the Hercules story from the poem is that Heywood himself had already devoted most of two plays to these events, and even if he were not referring to his own work, after this statement Heywood would hardly then go on to write the Silver and the Brazen Ages which tell Hercules' story anew.