024 – Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair

In today’s episode, we cover the works of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest literary figures in English history. Specifically, we look at the supernatural elements in a number of his plays, from Henry IV and Richard III, to The Tempest and Macbeth. Straddling the reigns of Elizabeth and James, Shakespeare’s career provides a window into how magic and witchcraft may have been seen in English culture.

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

  • Herrington, H. W., ‘Witchcraft and Magic in Elizabethan Drama’, in The Journal of American Folklore, 32, 126, (1919)
  • Stanhill, Gerald., ‘Shakespeare’s Tempest, witchcraft and the Little Ice Age’, Weather, 71, iv, 100-102
  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)
  • The plays of Shakespeare

A full bibliography can be found on the website.


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