Magic In The Tempest Essays

Consequently the very full use of it in The Tempest would have a much greater effect on the audience than can be felt today.There were two different types of it, a maleficent one represented by witches and wizards, who sold their souls to the devil in popular belief and who were governed by him to work evil on victims.

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It is certainly curious that they all have religious inflections, and nearly all of them are dedicated to the materials, instructions and language involved with calling spirits, leaving no room at all for the purpose the spirits are called for.

She then focuses on two specific books, Book 15 of Reginald Scot’s , and Folger MS Vb26.

However, that is exactly what Barbara Mowat, the director of research at the Folger Shakespeare library does. The essay opens with the assumption that Prospero does indeed have a magic book, which is essential to his magic.

She does an adamant job in her essay providing evidence for the existence of the book, but as with most things Shakespeare, it is not indisputable.

Water spirits appear in the Naiads and elves of the brooks and streams who are in attendance in the masque of Act IV to "bestow upon the eyes of this young couple some vanity of mine art", said by Prospero to Ariel, Act IV, Sc. The spirits of the air are of the highest type and include Ariel and the divinities he summons, Ceres, Iris, Juno, and the nymphs.

They thunder, Music, Noises, sounds, and sweet airs with which the island abounds, says Caliban.

Magic was a matter of importance in the sixteenth century involving life and death to practitioners and victims.

The burning of witches and the publication of many books on the subject, including one even by James I, bears witness to its place in public thought.

The attributes of magic used by Prospero are the robe, the wand, and his books on the subject.

He never appears invisible himself, but he repeatedly puts on or off his magic robe, according to whether he has work to do as a magician or an ordinary man.


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