i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Comment Blacklisted

March 02, 2005

This is a response to Kellyn's entry on pagan imagery in "The Tempest":

"What's interesting about paganism is that Christianity pretty much ripped off many of the pagan holidays!

Christmas is right around Yule & Easter is close to Beltane, etc. Christian churches back in the day used to display the pentacle but latter that came to be connoted with "the devil."

Halloween, while not exactly a "Christian" holiday is based on the Wiccan Samhain, the celebration of the harvest - it got the negative connotations from the Christians.

My suspicion is that Shakespeare used pagan imagery for two reasons:

1) he wasn't allowed to use the Christian imagery as explained above by Dr. J &

2) the pagan imagery was already familiar to the people who had been immersed in the practises for generations.

Paganism may have been close to home - how much interaction with Greek or Roman mythology would Shakespeare have had? I'm not sure..."

Blacklist is saying this looks like spam! Grrr!

Moira at 06:50 PM :: Comments (3) :: ::

Actually Moira, he would have had alot. Greek and Roman mythology were still popular in Shakespeare's times, usually being the stories that families told their kids because they were the easiest to remember.

Shakespeare did ALOT of research with his plays, even when they werent historical. He knew that people would understand paganism (many people still practiced the faith in those days; just as now--one could argue that paganism/Wiccan is the OLDEST religion in existance today; where as Christianity is the youngest). So thank the druids, thank the witches, the hobgoblins and the spirits, the Goddesses and Gods, and the nosferatus, for the creatures of the night, they inspired Shakespeare grealy....

as Dracula said:

"What music they make!"

Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at March 2, 2005 08:35 PM

Thanks, Lou! I was thinking more the printed mythology but of course oral tradiation was still holding strong. :c)

And I figured Shakespeare would have used the pagan mythology for that very reason. Sweet, since the "class expert" on Shakespeare agrees with me, I think it's a safe bet! :c)

Posted by: moira at March 3, 2005 09:57 AM

I am no expert. Just smart enough to read. LOL. I want to go to England sooooo bad and visit the sites that were famous--like the Globe Theatre.

But seriously, Wicca/Paganism was still strong in England. That and like Dr. Jerz said, there was a decree against using Christian symbols. LOL.

Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at March 3, 2005 10:24 AM
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