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The Witch of Edmonton

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This edition of the multi-authored text The Witch of Edmonton offers a thorough reconsideration of the text, comprehensive notes and glossary, together with a complete transcription of the original pamphlet by Henry Goodcole.
Paperback, 150 pages
Published December 10th 1999 by Manchester University Press (first published 1658)
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Maxwell Heath
This play was interesting. I certainly like Mother Sawyer's portion of the plot, as I find her reasons for making a deal with the Devil understandable, and she is in general a sympathetic character who makes a lot of good points about the unfairness of her position in life. The demon in the guise of a dog that serves her is also an interesting character, and the parts of the plot focused on him and a foolish young man are also fairly good. I didn't really enjoy the part of the plot focused on Fr...more
I thought Elizabeth Sawyer (the eponymous witch) had some excellent speeches. I think the portrayal of her transformation from an isolated old woman who is suspected of witchcraft, into an actual witch that seems to communicate with the Devil was really well-written and interesting. However, 'The Witch of Edmonton' suffers as a whole from forced, jarring plot points such as (view spoiler)...more
Mary Vogel
This play is about the importance of words and the power of speech acts to transform individuals and how they relate to society. I think of it has a domesticated version of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.
It was good to read a play from 16th Century England that wasn't written by Shakespeare. Although there were some similarities between this play and Shakespeare, it was overall a different reading experience. The Witch of Edmonton is described as a tragi-comedy - although there is the deaths expected in a tragedy, there are marriages, reconciliations and humour that you expect to see in a comedy. I am interested in the use of witchcraft as a storytelling device and reading this play has made me...more
I read this Renaissance tragedy in grad school and it intrigued me so much I made it the topic of my thesis. It is a rarely studied play that centers around the true story of a old woman charged and hanged for witchcraft in 1621. At the time (back in 1989) when I was working on my thesis, I was heavily into deconstruction and thought to take this very modern critical approach to the play. It is still of interest to me and is a play that I think bears up well even today.
I had to read this for an essay. It was okay, a bit confusing at times but I think I understood what I needed to for my essay.
But see, the bridegroom and bride come; the new pair of Sheffield knives fitted both to one sheath.
it was to support an annotated bibliography about magic, interesting though.
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William Rowley (1585?? – February 1626) was an English Jacobean dramatist, best known for works written in collaboration with more successful writers. His date of birth is estimated to have been c. 1585; he was buried on 11 February 1626. (An unambiguous record of Rowley's death was discovered in 1928, but some authorities persist in listing his death-date as 1642.)
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