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The Witch
     

The Witch

by Thomas Middleton, Elizabeth Shafer
 

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The Witch (1615/16?), categorised by its author as 'a tragi-comedy',pits the intrigues of a group of Italian aristocrats against themalevolent practices of Hecate and her witches' coven, leaving theaudience with the impression that human malevolence is by far thefiercer and more effective. This edition sets the play into itsdramatic and literary contexts, ranging

Overview

The Witch (1615/16?), categorised by its author as 'a tragi-comedy',pits the intrigues of a group of Italian aristocrats against themalevolent practices of Hecate and her witches' coven, leaving theaudience with the impression that human malevolence is by far thefiercer and more effective. This edition sets the play into itsdramatic and literary contexts, ranging from Shakespeare's Macbeth andMiddleton's own later tragedies to Reginald Scot's sceptical Discoveryof Witchcraft and King James's virulent Daemonologie. It also arguesthat Middleton wrote it as a topical satire to capitalise on thescandal involving Frances Howard, who obtained a divorce from the Earlof Essex on the grounds that he had been sexually incapacitated bywitchcraft; she was also rumoured to have tried to poison him.Middleton exposes his noble characters precisely by letting them getaway with murder.

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Booknews
The first modern scholarly edition of Middleton's (ca. 1580- 1627) play, not published until 1778. Sebastian reclaims his betrothed from Antonio; the Duchess avenges herself on the Duke for making her drink from her father; and Abberzanes and Francesca have an illicite affair. The witches are credible forces of evil, a portrayal flying the face of 17th-century thought. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780713639452
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
09/01/2007
Series:
New Mermaids Series
Edition description:
New
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.28(d)

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