Shakespeare's use of the supernatural in Hamlet and Macbeth

Author: Merissa Bartlett

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 3656609608

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 10

View: 1958

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Essay from the year 2013 in the subject English - History of Literature, Eras, grade: 80.00, Memorial University of Newfoundland, course: English 3200, language: English, abstract: Witchcraft and the supernatural has been a prevalent theme throughout theatre history, having many plays involving issues of witches, wizards, magic, ghosts, and other mysticisms. The world’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, who wrote during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, was definitely no stranger to otherworldly premises. The ghost of the old king in Hamlet and the Weird Sisters in Macbeth are central to the plays’ plots, they are a major force in determining the two heroes’ actions, form the plays’ opening scenes, and they are an important element in establishing the plays’ atmosphere.

The Influence of the Audiences’ Supernatural Belief in "Hamlet" and "Macbeth"

A Comparison

Author: Jonas Heidger

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 3668345864

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 11

View: 4868

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Seminar paper from the year 2015 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, language: English, abstract: "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" are two of Shakespeare’s most successful and greatest tragedies. One reason why this can safely be said, is that both tragedies are two of the greatest written by Shakespeare and both are some of the most written about plays in all Western literature. Given the great interest, that has scholars and critics captured and fascinated to continue writing and interpreting every character, theme, and every turn of events throughout the years. Both tragedies have much in common, as they open in the country in which the action took place, with a reigning monarchy, which is threatened from both interior and exterior of the country, as the murder of a king and the approach of an enemy armament, are at the center of both plots. The murderer in both plays is a kinsman of the king, occupying the throne out of greed for power but is being punished by death at the end of the tragedy. Both plays are located abroad, as "Hamlet" is placed in medieval Denmark and "Macbeth" in medieval Scotland. But what these plays have most in common is that the supernatural is playing a key role. The ghost of the old King in "Hamlet" and the three witches in "Macbeth" are determining the two protagonists’ actions and the establishment of the plays’ atmosphere from the outset. The supernatural in both plays was influenced by beliefs prevalent during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

Scare Quotes from Shakespeare

Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment

Author: Martin Harries

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804736213

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 209

View: 5882

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This book argues that moments of allusion to the supernatural in Shakespeare are occasions where Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes register the perseverance of haunted structures in modern culture. This "reenchantment," at the heart of modernity and of literary and political works central to our understanding of modernity, is the focus of this book. The author shows that allusion to supernatural moments in Shakespeare ("scare quotes") allows writers to both acknowledge and distance themselves from the supernatural phenomena that challenge their disenchanted understanding of the social world. He also uses these modern appropriations of Shakespeare as provocations to reread some of his works, notably Hamlet and Macbeth. Two pairs of linked chapters form the center of the book. One pair joins a reading of Marx, concentrating on The Eighteenth Brumaire, to Hamlet; the other links a reading of Keynes, focusing on The Economic Consequences of the Peace, to Macbeth. The chapters on Marx and Keynes trace some of the strange circuits of supernatural rhetoric in their work, Marx's use of ghosts and Keynes's fascination with witchcraft. The sequence linking Marx to Hamlet, for example, has as its anchor the Frankfurt School's concept of the phantasmagoria, the notion that it is in the most archaic that one encounters the figure of the new. Looking closely at Marx's association of the Ghost in Hamlet with the coming revolution in turn illuminates Hamlet's association of the Ghost with the supernatural beings many believed haunted mines. An opening chapter discusses Henry Dircks, a nineteenth-century English inventor who developed—and then lost his claim to—a phantasmagoria or machine to project ghosts on stage. Dircks resorted to magical rhetoric in response to his loss, which is emblematic for the book as a whole, charting ways the scare quote can, paradoxically, continue the work of enlightenment.

Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England

Spaces of Demonism, Divinity, and Drama

Author: Kristen Poole

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139497650

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: N.A

View: 3106

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Bringing together recent scholarship on religion and the spatial imagination, Kristen Poole examines how changing religious beliefs and transforming conceptions of space were mutually informative in the decades around 1600. Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England explores a series of cultural spaces that focused attention on interactions between the human and the demonic or divine: the deathbed, purgatory, demonic contracts and their spatial surround, Reformation cosmologies and a landscape newly subject to cartographic surveying. It examines the seemingly incongruous coexistence of traditional religious beliefs and new mathematical, geometrical ways of perceiving the environment. Arguing that the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century stage dramatized the phenomenological tension that resulted from this uneasy confluence, this groundbreaking study considers the complex nature of supernatural environments in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and Shakespeare's Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth and The Tempest.

Shakespeare and the Outer Mystery

Author: Robert H. West

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813165113

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 216

View: 1471

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Shakespeare has been viewed by critics both as a secular writer who affirmed the dual nature of man and as a Christian allegorist whose work has a submerged but positive and elaborate pattern of Christian meaning. In Shakespeare and the Outer Mystery, Robert H. West explores the philosophical and supernatural elements of five Shakespearean dramas -- Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and The Tempest. Through his analysis, West discovers Shakespeare's respect for the mysteries of existence but no clear definition of the philosophical and moral context of his play worlds. An artistic motivation leads Shakespeare to use these elements ambiguously to create a dramatic effect rather than to teach a moral or ideological lesson.

Macbeth

Tragedies by William Shakespeare

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: 谷月社

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 93

View: 9009

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Macbeth (full title The Tragedy of Macbeth) is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, and is considered one of his darkest and most powerful works. Set in Scotland, the play illustrates the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. The play is believed to have been written between 1599 and 1606, and is most commonly dated 1606. The earliest account of a performance of what was probably Shakespeare's play is the Summer of 1606, when Simon Forman recorded seeing such a play at the Globe Theatre. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book. It was most likely written during the reign of James I, who had been James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. James was a patron of Shakespeare's acting company, and of all the plays Shakespeare wrote during James's reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with the sovereign. Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death. Shakespeare's source for the tragedy is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland, Macduff, and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth. In recent scholarship, the events of the tragedy are usually associated more closely with the execution of Henry Garnett for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "the Scottish play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It has been adapted to film, television, opera, novels, comic books, and other media.

Daemonologie

Author: King James I of England

Publisher: Library of Alexandria

ISBN: 1465514139

Category: Demonology

Page: N.A

View: 4571

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The Woman Who Walked into Doors

Author: Roddy Doyle

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1440674345

Category: Fiction

Page: 240

View: 802

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Paula Spencer is a thirty-nine-year-old working-class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Roddy Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.

What Happens in Hamlet

Author: J. Dover Wilson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521091091

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 357

View: 1949

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A scholarly examination of the plot and dramatic technique of Shakespeare's most controversial play

The Discoverie of Witchcraft

Author: Reginald Scot

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486260305

Category: History

Page: 282

View: 9764

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16th-century classic debunks witchcraft but offers remarkable primary source of information on witchcraft, witch trials, practice of the black arts. Introduction by Montague Summers. 17 illustrations.

Shakespeare's Politics

Author: Allan Bloom,Harry V. Jaffa

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226060415

Category: Drama

Page: 150

View: 2203

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Taking the classical view that the political shapes man's consciousness, Allan Bloom considers Shakespeare as a profoundly political Renaissance dramatist. He aims to recover Shakespeare's ideas and beliefs and to make his work once again a recognized source for the serious study of moral and political problems. In essays looking at Julius Caesar, Othello, and The Merchant of Venice, Bloom shows how Shakespeare presents a picture of man that does not assume privileged access for only literary criticism. With this claim, he argues that political philosophy offers a comprehensive framework within which the problems of the Shakespearean heroes can be viewed. In short, he argues that Shakespeare was an eminently political author. Also included is an essay by Harry V. Jaffa on the limits of politics in King Lear. "A very good book indeed . . . one which can be recommended to all who are interested in Shakespeare." —G. P. V. Akrigg "This series of essays reminded me of the scope and depth of Shakespeare's original vision. One is left with the impression that Shakespeare really had figured out the answers to some important questions many of us no longer even know to ask."-Peter A. Thiel, CEO, PayPal, Wall Street Journal Allan Bloom was the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor on the Committee on Social Thought and the co-director of the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy at the University of Chicago. Harry V. Jaffa is professor emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate School.

The Third Witch

Author: Rebecca Reisert

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743423054

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 8177

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Rebecca Reisert's mesmerizing first novel re-imagines Macbeth, Shakespeare's classic tragedy of power and madness, through the eyes of a mysterious young woman on a dangerous quest for vengeance. For the girl called Gilly, life in the wilds of Birnam Wood is little more than a desperate struggle for survival. Seven long years have passed since she was first taken in and sheltered by Nettle and Mad Helga, the hut-dwelling wise-women whose inscrutable powers of alchemy and prophecy are feared and reviled throughout good King Duncan's kingdom. Living under the threat of deadly persecution by witch-hunting villagers, the threesome ekes out a life by peddling potions and elixirs, scavenging for food, and robbing the bloodied corpses of Scotland's battle-scarred hills for precious metals and weapons. But Gilly is haunted by recollections of a much brighter life. She clings to fading memories of a time when she was contented and adored -- until tragedy swept all that happiness away and young Gilly's life was changed forever. I have made my life an arrow, and His heart is my home. I have made my heart a blade, and His heart is my sheath....Obsessed with avenging her loss and putting out the fire that still rages in her heart, Gilly has dedicated herself to destroying Macbeth, the boundlessly ambitious man who took away her childhood, and his goading wife. Disguising herself as a poor servant boy, she insinuates herself into their lives and, as she bears horrified witness to Macbeth's violent path to power, Gilly subtly begins to take a hand in the forces governing his fate. But as the culmination of her revenge draws near, Gilly finds her own life at risk when she confronts the troubling legacy of a long-concealed heritage. The Third Witch is a brilliantly imagined, wonderfully satisfying novel. In a riveting story of ruthlessness and revenge, debut author Rebecca Reisert demonstrates a profound understanding of the Bard's timeless drama -- and of the real-life Macbeth upon whom Shakespeare's incarnation is modeled.

The Plays of Shakespeare

A Thematic Guide

Author: Victor L. Cahn

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780313309816

Category: Drama

Page: 361

View: 6147

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Touching viewers and readers with his presentation of social, moral, and political issues, Shakespeare holds ageless and unequaled appeal primarily because of the universal themes at the heart of his dramatic works. Shakespeare scholar Victor Cahn takes a unique approach to exploring the plays by identifying and explicating the themes that recur throughout the canon. Written in lively language, each of the 35 essays explores a core theme or topic and discusses its implications in several key plays in which it figures prominently. This user-friendly guide not only allows readers to better understand the significance of concepts such as power, politics, marriage or money; the organization by theme also helps users to compare and contrast these important topics across relevant plays. Cahn draws vivid connections between related works of Shakespeare, but just as importantly, enlightens readers as to the pertinence of these themes in contemporary life. While this thematic guide examines all of Shakespeare's plays, particular attention is devoted to those works most often read by students; the tragedies such as "Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet," and "Macbeth," the comedies including "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Merchant of Venice," as well as the historical plays like" Richard II," and the romantic works such as "The Tempest." Students who wish to investigate a particular play in greater depth can refer to this book's title index to identify all citations of that work. This valuable literary resource serves myriad uses, enabling students to trace the thread of a theme, to compare its treatment in several plays, and to understand better a play, its characters, plot and language, by examining Shakespeare's central themes.