Shakespeare’s Use of the Supernatural

Shakespeare’s Use of the Supernatural

Pavlíčková, Jana

Master of Arts, Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department of English and American Studies, English Language and Literature (2009)


The use of the Supernatural in Shakespeare‟s work is generally well-known and widely discussed. He incorporated various supernatural elements into many of his plays, with varying extent and with different intentions. He gained popularity for his masterful use of a ghost in Macbeth and Hamlet as well as for his portrayal of fairies in the Midsummer Night’s Dream and the supernatural atmosphere in the Tempest. Shakespeare‟s manner of using the Supernatural, the function he attributes to it as well as the implying effect thereof have been subjects of many discussions.

The topic of Shakespeare’s use of the Supernatural has been elaborated on by many authors and from various different perspectives. However, most of the books available are comprehensive and cover all possible features present in all relevant Shakespeare’s plays, or, on the other hand, discuss only a limited range of plays, although in detail, with a limited range of further references to other plays/authors. Therefore, such limited or, on the other hand, too wide discussions cannot provide relevant comparisons or background for deeper considerations.

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