Additionally, to his pamphlets Thomas Middleton also wrote a play between the years of 1613 to 1616 called The Witch. The play itself follows a witch named Hecate, who participates in many activities that are commonly associated with witches, such as flying through he air and meeting nocturnal sabbaths. The witch Hecate specialized in love magic, so in this play we get a more comedic outlook on what a witch looked liked and represented during the Renaissance period. These lines in Act III, Scene 3 we see Hecate and company preparing to go flying,
Hecate: The moon’s gallant; see how brisk she rides.
Stadlin: Here’s a rich evening, Hecate.
Hecate: Ay, is’t not, wenches, To take a journey five thousand miles.
These lines are significant because one gets to see a stereotype played out in a fictional play. The irony of the play itself is that it took on a very modern perception of witches and how they indeed go flying. Due to the fact that this concept is mentioned in Middleton’s play, the idea of witches flying may not be as modern as one thought. Moreover, in comparison to Shakespeare’s witches, these witches have names, which makes them more humane characters than Shakespeare. This allows audience members and readers to picture themselves in the lives of these witches, despite the negative feelings that people had for these individuals during the Renaissance period.
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...eing spread around Europe, through art, literature and plays, many people came to associate witches with the stereotypical presentation that all these documents showcased. Furthermore, ideas about witches spread like wild fire, allowing aristocrats and even peasants to have the ability to identify witches from just a few characteristics. Unfortunately, for those women and sometimes men, witchcraft and abnormal behaviour was the absolute for them to survive during harsh economic times, which automatically deemed them witches in their society. Through this many women and men were killed at the stake through other various mean and were hunted down just like the Trier trials for heresy against the church. May those women regardless of if they were indeed witches, rest in peace. Folklore will always tell the tale of witches good or bad even beyond the Renaissance period.
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