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Witches before Flying
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 2, Issue 5, September 2014, Pages: 155-172
Received: Aug. 18, 2014; Accepted: Sep. 6, 2014; Published: Sep. 20, 2014
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Author
Shokhan Rasool Ahmed, English Department, University of Sulaimani, Sulaimani/Kurdistan- Iraq
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Abstract
This paper examines Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1606), and The Late Lancashire Witches (1634) by Thomas Heywood and Richard Brome, and considers in detail the witch scenes in both plays and their stage directions during their entrances and exits. The witches in the Jacobean Macbeth of the First Folio, do not explicitly fly in the stage directions. However, they do in the Restoration Macbeth, namely in Davenant’s second Quarto (1674). The question to be raised here is: what evidence is there in the pre-Restoration Macbeth that the witches flew? In order to explore this, we must consider what performance spaces were used for Macbeth in the Jacobean period. Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and Heywood and Brome’s The Late Lancashire Witches form an interesting comparison since they were both revised by other writers. The Late Lancashire Witches has not received as much scholarly attention as the other witch plays discussed here. Therefore, as a comparative study, this paper will also discuss the joint authorship of Heywood and Brome in The Late Lancashire Witches and the stage directions of the witch scenes. Although it seems that the witches did not fly in Heywood’s and Brome’s version, there is evidence that the stage directions called for flight in The Lancashire Witches (1681), Thomas Shadwell’s later version. A further illuminating comparison between these plays is that the creatures we are considering here are sinister figures in Macbeth but comic figures in The Lancashire Witches. The audience can see that the three Weird Sisters enter the stage and then vanish into the air, but do not see them fly.
Keywords
Stage Directions in the Jacobean Macbeth, Stage Directions in the Restoration Macbeth, Stage Directions in Thomas Shadwell’s The Lancashire Witches, Tegue O Divelly the Irish-Priest, and Pepys’ Response to Macbeth The Late Lancashire Witches
To cite this article
Shokhan Rasool Ahmed, Witches before Flying, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 2, No. 5, 2014, pp. 155-172. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20140205.14
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