fulcrum of its own body

Shakespeare’s intellectual action is wholly unlike that of Ben Jonson or Beaumont or Fletcher. The latter see the totality of a sentence or a passage, and then project it entire. Shakespeare goes on creating, and evolving B out of A, and C out of B, and so on, just as a serpent moves, which makes a fulcrum of its own body, and seems for ever twisting and untwisting its own strength.

—S. T. Coleridge, Table Talk (1834)

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