Round Table Discussion: Myth & Magic

Myth Reading Group

Round Table

Thursday 11 May

12.00-1.30pm in Room 5A.118


John William Waterhouse (1848-1917), The Magic Circle, 1886, oil on canvas, Tate Britain [image on the public domain]

We are very pleased to announce that our next session will be a round table discussion on the intersection between myth and magic.

As a way of starting our discussion, we will consider the Three Witches/Sisters in Macbeth (1623) and how Shakespeare combined elements from Greco-Roman mythology and Elizabethan anxieties about witchcraft in his depiction of the witches.  Hecate, the Queen of the witches in the tragedy, is of particular importance as parallels can be drawn with the moon goddess of the Greek underworld.

We hope the following extracts from Macbeth will encourage a lively discussion of the link between myth and magic, and how magic contributes to our understanding of myth. See our call for proposals for further inspiration.

Set readings:

Shakespeare, Macbeth (selected scenes: Act1, Scene 1, Act1, Scene 3, Act3, Scene 5, Act4, Scene 1 ) Alternatively, please access the full text of the play online.

Hesiod, Hymn to Hecate, line 410


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