The witch of edmonton

The witch of edmonton

  • Submitted By: bpeeney
  • Date Submitted: 05/01/2016 4:25 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 2581
  • Page: 11

What is/are the tragedy/tragedies of The Witch of Edmonton and any one additional Renaissance drama of your choice?

When considering the ideologies of a tragedy, it becomes ever apparent that the Jacobean play The Witch of Edmonton written by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker and John Ford in 1621 and the Elizabethan play Arden of Faversham which was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 3 April 1592, and printed later that same year by Edward White, are rife in tragic decay and result in the obliteration of many characters and their livelihoods

The Witch of Edmonton is a play based on the factual events and conviction of Elizabeth Sawyer who was accused of being involved in the arts of witchcraft that occurred during the reign of James the first of England. In the opening of The Witch of Edmonton the dramatis personae states that Elizabeth Sawyer’s character is defined as ‘The Witch’. This title immediately brands her without verdict as a devious, negative character, especially in the given time period. In the Jacobean era people were exceedingly religious God-fearing and believed greatly in the existence of witches and witchcraft. People associated witchcraft with a darker evil or a demonic form and those who practised it were considered to possess dark powers. Jacobean people believed that witches caused harm, destroyed lands and property and were perilous to civilised societies. The common belief among the masses was that it was predominantly women who practised witchcraft, and older, outcast or widowed women were those that were most frequently depicted as witches. It was also believed, to a lesser extent, that some men also practised witchcraft. King James held strong beliefs regarding witchcraft and demonology and wrote a treatise to establish his irrefutable belief in its existence in England. He was clearly alarmed by this practice and subsequently introduced an Act which transferred the trial of witches from the church to the...

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