Shakespear Illustrated, Or, The Novels and Histories, on which the Plays of Shakespear are Founded, Volume 1

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Página 287 - Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and howlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Página 280 - IN order to make a true estimate of the abilities and merit of a writer, it is always necessary to examine the genius of his age, and the opinions of his contemporaries.
Página 281 - The reality of witchcraft or enchantment, which, though not strictly the same, are confounded in this play, has in all ages and countries been credited by the common people, and in most, by the learned themselves.
Página 285 - This law was repealed in our own time. Thus, in the time of Shakespeare, was the doctrine of witchcraft at once established by law and by the fashion, and it became not only unpolite, but criminal, to doubt it ; and as prodigies are always seen in proportion as they are expected, witches were every day discovered, and multiplied so fast in some places, that Bishop Hall mentions a village in Lancashire*, where their number was greater than that of the houses.
Página 283 - James, in which this tragedy was written, many circumstances concurred to propagate and confirm this opinion. The king, who was much celebrated for his knowledge, had, before his arrival in England, not only examined in person a woman accused of witchcraft but had given a very formal account of the practices and...
Página 289 - When any one gets a fall," says the informer of Camden, "he starts up, and turning three times to the right digs a hole in the earth; for they imagine that there is a spirit in the ground, and if he falls sick in two or three days, they send one of their women that is skilled in that way to the place, where she says, I call thee from the east, west, north and south, from the groves, the woods, the rivers, and the fens, from the fairies red, black, white.
Página x - Among his other excellencies it ought to be remarked, because it has hitherto been unnoticed, that his heroes are men, that the love and hatred, the hopes and fears of his chief personages are such as are common to other human beings, and not like those which later times have exhibited, peculiar to phantoms that strut upon the stage.
Página 284 - ... 3, or take up any dead man, woman or child out of the grave — or the skin, bone, or any part of the dead person — to be employed or used in any manner of witchcraft, sorcery, charm, or enchantment...
Página viii - ... them to be gods. But the truth is, that a very small part of the reputation of this mighty genius depends upon the naked plot or story of his plays.
Página ix - He lived in an age when the books of chivalry were yet popular, and when therefore the minds of his auditors were not accustomed to balance probabilities, or to examine nicely the proportion between causes and effects. It was sufficient to recommend a story, that it was far removed from common life, that its changes were frequent, and its close pathetic.

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