Title

Speak of the Devil and He Will Appear: Why Macbeth Deserved His fate.

Presenter Information

Cassandra White

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Theatre

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Macbeth, Shakespeare, Witchcraft

Abstract

“God will not permit [the devil] to deceive his own: but only such as first willfully deceive themselves, by running unto him, whom then God suffers to fall into their own snares, and justly permits them to be illuded with great efficiency of deceit, because they would not believe the truth”–King James Daemonolgy. “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more.”–Macbeth Act I Scene III Macbeth. “What can the Devil speak true?”–Banquo Act I Scene III Macbeth. Modern audiences are quick to assume that the ghosts and visions in Macbeth are the result of an inner madness. Macbeth sees floating daggers, hears voices, and sees visions that no one else can see. However, when Macbeth was first being performed these things would not automatically be assumed to be merely constructs of his guilty mind. This paper examines the supernatural elements of Macbeth through the eyes of the original audience especially King James whose treatise on witchcraft and spirits, Daemonology, gives valuable insights into the mindset of the time.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Ball, Jay

Additional Mentoring Department

Theatre

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May 15th, 1:10 PM May 15th, 1:30 PM

Speak of the Devil and He Will Appear: Why Macbeth Deserved His fate.

SURC Theatre

“God will not permit [the devil] to deceive his own: but only such as first willfully deceive themselves, by running unto him, whom then God suffers to fall into their own snares, and justly permits them to be illuded with great efficiency of deceit, because they would not believe the truth”–King James Daemonolgy. “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more.”–Macbeth Act I Scene III Macbeth. “What can the Devil speak true?”–Banquo Act I Scene III Macbeth. Modern audiences are quick to assume that the ghosts and visions in Macbeth are the result of an inner madness. Macbeth sees floating daggers, hears voices, and sees visions that no one else can see. However, when Macbeth was first being performed these things would not automatically be assumed to be merely constructs of his guilty mind. This paper examines the supernatural elements of Macbeth through the eyes of the original audience especially King James whose treatise on witchcraft and spirits, Daemonology, gives valuable insights into the mindset of the time.