How Did Shakespeare Believe In The Diverie Of Magic

Decent Essays
During the reign of James VI, Reginald Scot wrote a book detailing his opinions on the witch hunting craze. The book was ironically titled The Discoverie of Magic despite what the content of the book. In his book, Scot explains how unrealistic he believes witches are. His whole book explains why he did not believe in the existence of witches. One quote from his book states his key argument: “If witches could do any such miraculous things, as these and other which are imputed to them, they might do them again and again, at any time or place, or at any man's desire: for the devil is as strong at one time as at another, as busy by day as by night, and ready enough to do all mischief, and careth not whom he abuseth” (Scot). Scot found it very strange…show more content…
The first time The Tempest was performed was in front of James VI and his court. This performance has significance because it already creates a connection between James VI and The Tempest. This also showed that Shakespeare was willing to have his play performed, where there the protagonist was royalty that recreationally used magic, in front of someone who was known for having people accused and killed for witchcraft. Since Shakespeare was usually commissioned by royals to write his plays and was an English citizen, he more than likely had an inkling that the play would first be performed for James VI’s court. This is not the only coincidence that proves Shakespeare based The Tempest, if only partly, off of James VI and his crimes against his own citizens. The first performance of the play was actually presented as a part of James VI’s daughter’s wedding ceremonies. “It was performed at court during the marriage celebrations of James I’s daughter Elizabeth, the future ‘Winter Queen’ of Bohemia, in 1613” (Cavendish). This is significance is in the fact that the two main characters in the play are an exiled king and his daughter. More than coincidently, Shakespeare’s main characters were a father-daughter duo. The Tempest was also one of Shakespeare’s comedies in that it involved little to no death and ended with a marriage (in this play’s case an engagement). The choice of a comedy that ended in an engagement for James VI’s daughter’s wedding ceremony proves that Shakespeare had more reason for choosing the play to perform to James VI than simply deciding to perform it because it was his latest creation. Shakespeare made a statement by performing The Tempest before a paranoid ruler who had ordered the murder of at least
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