The Supernatural in Renaissance Drama
An analysis of the supernatural in the plays "Hamlet" and "Midsummer's Night Dream" by Shakespeare, and "Dr. Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe.
# 61168 | 1,154 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2005 |
Published on Sep 22, 2005 in English (Comparison) , Shakespeare (Hamlet) , Shakespeare (Midsummer Night's Dream) , Drama and Theater (General)
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The theme of the supernatural in Renaissance drama emerges more as a 'problem' than as a unified theology. This paper explains that the use of supernatural and characterization thereof, says more about the playwright's ability to use language to characterize, than about the ideology of the period. It explains that Shakespeare's stress on characterization results in more human fairies and spirits than in Marlowe's world.
From the Paper:"These questions of truth and reality become even more sharply defined in "Hamlet." Ironically, Hamlet begins the play wanting to go back to Faustus' Wittenberg to study-but ends up meeting the supernatural on his own doorstep. Rather than the comic Faustus, stewing over his books, Hamlet's meeting with his father is frightening, and causes Hamlet to consecrate his life to revenge. (1.3) But Hamlet is never sure if the ghost is true or false, hence he uses a play as a truth-test of his uncle's guilt, noting that the devil has a power to assume a pleasing shape. By the end of the play, the supernatural has virtually retreated from the play entirely-the ghost disappears after preventing Hamlet from killing his mother in anger, and Hamlet does kill Claudius, but without the satisfaction of revealing to the court with his own words, or before his mother what really happened to his father."
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