Robert (“Romeo”) Coates lies with closed eyes on an ornate sofa. He holds a cock which stands facing him on his stomach. He wears the quasi Spanish or 16th century costume which was a convention of the theatre, the tassled Hessian boots. The sofa is decorated with cocks’ heads. Visions from his dream surround him. He repeats Romeo’s words: O heavy lightness! Serious Vanity / Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Behind him on the left Shakespeare rises from the floor saying: Oh Romeo! Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? On the right and standing on clouds a cock with the head and arm of Coates holds out his purse addressing the Apothecary who has a cock’s head: Come hither Man I see that thou / are poor, Hold, there’s forty Duckets. Coates as a man in armour with a cock’s head strides upon clouds pointing with out-stretched arms. On the floor objects and symbols representing Coates’s dramatic aspirations: his feathered and jewelled hat, his sword with a jewel on a chain lying across it. On the right stands Tragedy and Comedy as two cocks; Tragedy is crowned and holds a dagger in its beak and a cup of poison in its claw; Comedy holds a comic mask in its beak. Below the title “Is this that Gallant Gay Lothario”. / Vide the Fair Penetent.
The inscription and hat indicate Coates’s appearance as Lothario in Rose Fair Penetent at the Haymarket.