Witchcraft in Early Modern Literature

Diane Purkiss

in The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199578160
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Witchcraft in             Early Modern Literature

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This article discusses witchcraft in early modern literature. It focuses on early modern drama to show how cultural narratives circulate between high and low, the low as capable of informing the high as vice versa, and how under-studied institutions such as the stage play a part in keeping key stories in motion long after theologians had ceased to promulgate them. All literary representations produced contemporaneously with the principal period of the witch-trials are informed by earlier literary texts, particularly classical literature and medieval romances.

Keywords: witchcraft; early modern drama; state play; classical literature; medieval romances; witch trials

Article.  9315 words. 

Subjects: History ; Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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