Warning, Familiarity and Ridicule: Tracing the Theatrical Representation of the Witch in Early Modern England

by Porterfield, Melissa Rynn

Abstract (Summary)
This work traces the theatrical representation of the witch on the Early Modern English stage. I examine the ways in which the witch was constructed as a binary opposite against which dominant society could define itself. This work provides close readings of three representative plays from the era: Macbeth, The Witch of Edmonton, and The Witches of Edmonton. I also investigate the significance of the personal involvement of King James I in real-life witch trials. This work breaks the progression of the witch into three stages - fear, familiarity, and ridicule – each of which served to allay the anxieties of dominant culture. Situating the texts within the specific historical cosmology of their original productions, I suggest one possible mapping of the intersections of the intersections of gender, class, nation, politics, and economics which they depict.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:theatre witch early modern england macbeth the of edmonton witches lancashire feminist cultural representations


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.