Shakespeare's use of the supernatural in Hamlet and Macbeth

Author: Merissa Bartlett

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 3656609608

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 10

View: 6466

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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.

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: 8030

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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.

William Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in Richard III

Author: N.A

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 3668693196

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 6

View: 8577

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Essay from the year 2014 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,3, University of Passau, course: Proseminar: Shakespeare's History Plays: Richard II, Henry V and Richard III, language: English, abstract: The focus of the essay lies on the investigation of three specific examples how William Shakespeare uses supernatural elements like dreams or ghosts in his Historic Play King Richard III, in order to learn how they influence the play structurally and psychologically.

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: 4312

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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.

Revelation in Shakespeare

a study of the supernatural, religious and spiritual elements in his art

Author: Robert William Sigismund Mendl

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 223

View: 8667

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Shakespeare and the Supernatural

A Brief Study of Folklore, Superstition, and Witchcraft in 'Macbeth,' 'Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'The Tempest,'

Author: Margaret Lucy,William Jaggard

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Folklore

Page: 36

View: 2498

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Daemonologie

Author: King James I of England

Publisher: Library of Alexandria

ISBN: 1465514139

Category: Demonology

Page: N.A

View: 4578

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Witches and Jesuits

Shakespeare's Macbeth

Author: Garry Wills

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195102908

Category: Mathematics

Page: 223

View: 9636

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Drawing on his intimate knowledge of the vivid intrigue and drama of Jacobean England, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Lincoln at Gettysburg" restores Macbeth's suspenseful tension by returning it to the context of its own time, recreating the burning theological and political crises of Shakespeare's era.

Enchantment and Dis-enchantment in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama

Wonder, the Sacred, and the Supernatural

Author: Nandini Das,Nick Davis

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1317290682

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 194

View: 3824

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This volume addresses dealings with the wondrous, magical, holy, sacred, sainted, numinous, uncanny, auratic, and sacral in the plays of Shakespeare and contemporaries, produced in an era often associated with the irresistible rise of a thinned-out secular rationalism. By starting from the literary text and looking outwards to social, cultural, and historical aspects, it comes to grips with the instabilities of ‘enchanted’ and ‘disenchanted’ practices of thinking and knowledge-making in the early modern period. If what marvelously stands apart from conceptions of the world’s ordinary functioning might be said to be ‘enchanted’, is the enchantedness weakened, empowered, or modally altered by its translation to theatre? We have a received historical narrative of disenchantment as a large-scale early modern cultural process, inexorable in character, consisting of the substitution of a rationally understood and controllable world for one containing substantial areas of mystery. Early modern cultural change, however, involves transpositions, recreations, or fresh inventions of the enchanted, and not only its replacement in diminished or denatured form. This collection is centrally concerned with what happens in theatre, as a medium which can give power to experiences of wonder as well as circumscribe and curtail them, addressing plays written for the popular stage that contribute to and reflect significant contemporary reorientations of vision, awareness, and cognitive practice. The volume uses the idea of dis-enchantment/re-enchantment as a central hub to bring multiple perspectives to bear on early modern conceptualizations and theatricalizations of wonder, the sacred, and the supernatural from different vantage points, marking a significant contribution to studies of magic, witchcraft, enchantment, and natural philosophy in Shakespeare and early modern drama.

The Alchemist

A Comedy

Author: Ben Jonson

Publisher: CreateSpace

ISBN: 9781502452030

Category:

Page: 204

View: 9846

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The Alchemist - A Comedy by Ben Jonson. The Alchemist is a comedy by English playwright Ben Jonson. First performed in 1610 by the King's Men, it is generally considered Jonson's best and most characteristic comedy; Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed that it had one of the three most perfect plots in literature. The play's clever fulfilment of the classical unities and vivid depiction of human folly have made it one of the few Renaissance plays (except the works of Shakespeare) with a continuing life on stage (except for a period of neglect during the Victorian era). The Alchemist premiered 34 years after the first permanent public theatre (The Theatre) opened in London; it is, then, a product of the early maturity of commercial drama in London. Only one of the University wits who had transformed drama in the Elizabethan period remained alive (this was Thomas Lodge); in the other direction, the last great playwright to flourish before the Interregnum, James Shirley, was already a teenager. The theatres had survived the challenge mounted by the city and religious authorities; plays were a regular feature of life at court and for a great number of Londoners. The venue for which Jonson apparently wrote his play reflects this newly solid acceptance of theatre as a fact of city life. In 1597, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (aka the King's Men) had been denied permission to use the theatre in Blackfriars as a winter playhouse because of objections from the neighbourhood's influential residents. Some time between 1608 and 1610, the company, now the King's Men, reassumed control of the playhouse, this time without objections. Their delayed premiere on this stage within the city walls, along with royal patronage, marks the ascendance of this company in the London play-world (Gurr, 171). The Alchemist was among the first plays chosen for performance at the theatre. Jonson's play reflects this new confidence. In it, he applies his classical conception of drama to a setting in contemporary London for the first time, with invigorating results. The classical elements, most notably the relation between Lovewit and Face, are fully modernised; likewise, the depiction of Jacobean London is given order and direction by the classical understanding of comedy as a means to expose vice and foolishness to ridicule.

Faith in Shakespeare

Author: Richard C. McCoy

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190218657

Category: Drama

Page: 194

View: 7144

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Speculation about Shakespeare's own religious beliefs and responses to the Reformation have dominated discussions of faith in the playwright's work for decades. As a result, we often lose sight of what's truly important-the plays themselves. By focusing on those plays in several succinct, fluently written chapters, Richard McCoy reminds us of the spell-binding power inherent in works like Othello, As You Like It, and The Winter's Tale and shows why they continue to cause audiences to gladly exercise what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called the "willing suspension of disbelief." Faith in Shakespeare ruminates on what it means to believe in the Bard's plays, exploring how their plots can be both preposterous and gripping, and how their characters seem more substantial and enduring than the people surrounding us in the theater. Informed by Coleridge's "poetic faith," the book discusses what this concept shares with religious faith and how it departs from recent historicist approaches to the dramatist's work. Faith in Shakespeare concentrates more on text than context, finding the afterlife of Shakespeare's language more vivid and engaging than theological controversies. The book confirms its convictions in literature's intrinsic powers by exploring the causes for our paradoxical belief in theater's potent but manifest illusions. Plays that ask their audience to "awake your faith" or "believe then, if you please" ultimately enable us to "mind true things by what their mockeries be." Rather than faith in God or the supernatural, McCoy argues that faith in Shakespeare is sustained and explained only by the complex, subtle, and entirely human power of poetic eloquence and dramatic performance.

Shakespeare and Memory

Author: Hester Lees-Jeffries

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199674256

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 228

View: 8582

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Hamlet's father's Ghost asks his son to 'Remember me!', but how did people remember around 1600? And how do we remember now? Shakespeare and Memory brings together classical and early modern sources, theatre history, performance, material culture, and cognitive psychology and neuroscience in order to explore ideas about memory in Shakespeare's plays and poems. It argues that, when Shakespeare was writing, ideas about memory were undergoing a kind of crisis, as both the technologies of memory (print, the theatre itself) and the belief structures underpinning ideas about memory underwent rapid change. And it suggests that this crisis might be mirrored in our own time, when, despite all the increasing gadgetry at our disposal, memory can still be recovered, falsified, corrupted, or wiped: only we ourselves can remember, but the workings of memory remain mysterious. Shakespeare and Memory draws on works from all stages of Shakespeare's career, with a particular focus on Hamlet, the Sonnets, Twelfth Night, and The Winter's Tale. It considers some little things: what's Hamlet writing on? And why does Orsino think he smells violets? And it asks some big questions: how should the dead be remembered? What's the relationship between memory and identity? And is it art, above all, that enables love and beauty, memory and identity, to endure in the face of loss, time, and death?

The Discoverie of Witchcraft

Author: Reginald Scot

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486260305

Category: History

Page: 282

View: 8060

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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 and the Outer Mystery

Author: Robert H. West

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813165113

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 216

View: 9811

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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.