Shakespeare: Magic and the Supernatural Book Review by writingsensation

Shakespeare: Magic and the Supernatural
This paper highlights the magic and supernatural themes present in Shakespeare's "A Mid-Summer Nights Dream", "Hamlet" and "The Winter's Tale".
# 69020 | 860 words | 0 sources | 2006 | US

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The author emphasizes the ideas of magic, fairies and ghosts that lie, sometimes hidden, in the works of Shakespeare. In "A Mid-Summer Nights Dream" the main theme is that of magic, with fairies; in "Hamlet" the theme is ghostly apparitions, whilst "The Winter's Tale" is full of the supernatural in many different forms. The author points out that these plays continue to appeal to many people in many different cultures, perhaps because of the various themes and ideas related to magic and the supernatural.

From the Paper:

"In A Mid-Summer Nights Dream, Shakespeare utilizes many themes and symbols, yet the most predominant theme is that of magic, especially in relation to fairies and other supernatural beings. The play itself was written to celebrate a marriage, perhaps for a private performance at a great estate or possibly at court, and it must be remembered that fairies dominate all aspects of this play, a possible reflection on the Elizabethan penchant for fairies in relation to weddings. The plotline in this play is actually three, one layered upon another, the first being Theseus and the four lovers, the second, the silliness of Bottom and his friends, and lastly, the fairy plot. In this play, there are "songs" or slices of poetry that allude to Robin Goodfellow, a fairy from Oberon, where ghosts abound and where the King and Queen of fairies sing and dance in the moonlight. These fairies are also artificers and creators of illusion and use strange ointments and pranks to make their powers known to all. Thus, the function of the fairies in this play is to create the illusion of magic, something that was quite important in any Elizabethan wedding ceremony, especially when taking place in the dim and dark forest just outside of the palace at Athens."

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