This is a line which appears repeatedly in the 1941 movie The Wolfman. The full poem is "Even a man who is pure in heart/and says his prayers by night/may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms/and the autumn moon is bright," meaning in the movie that any man might become a werewolf, and meaning in a general sense that a man's baser instincts may take control no matter how good he appears to be. This is the scene Dr. Destiny is playing out on this page.
Read "Snow White" in Household Tales by Brothers Grimm at Project Gutenberg.
The women are singing "Spread a Little Happiness," originally composed by Vivian Ellis in 1929 for his musical Mr. Cinders and later used in the movie Brimstone and Treacle in 1982.
Listen on Spotify: Spread a Little Happiness performed by Cliff Adams
This chapter's title comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth: "Life is but a walking shadow... A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying --- nothing." (Act 5, Scene 5)
Read the full text of Macbeth at Project Gutenberg.
Read the full text in modern English at SparkNotes.
Find analysis, study questions, and supplemental material at Shmoop.com.
The people named on this page (and others occasionally named throughout the chapter in this way) are fictional.
Death Takes a Holiday is a movie starring Fredric March which was originally released in 1934 and has been remade several times since then, most recently into the movie Meet Joe Black starring Brad Pitt. It was also adapted into a Broadway musical, and it may be one of those songs which Dee is singing.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Macbeth Act V; Scene 5
This is a reference to the warning Caesar receives at the beginning of Julius Caesar: "Beware the Ides of March," or March 15 – the day he will be killed.
Read the full text of Julius Caesar at Project Gutenberg.
Bride of Frankenstein was a 1935 horror movie, the first sequel to 1931's Frankenstein. It starred Boris Karloff as the monster and Elsa Lanchester as the bride created for him.
Destiny was originally the host of Weird Mystery Tales, a mystery/horror anthology published by DC from 1972 to 1975. The Sandman series reveals him to be one of the Endless, with the Garden of Forking Ways his realm, just as The Dreaming is Dream's. While Destiny is not used as often as some of the other Endless, he is featured in Volume 4 of the series, Season of Mists, as well as in a three-issue miniseries called Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold, by Alisa Kwitney.