In addition to the sprites and fairies that appear in some of the early comedies (Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream) and in the later romances (Ariel in The Tempest), Shakespeare includes both ghosts and witches in his tragedies. Although the spirits of Shakespeare's imaginative fairy realms are only real within their domains, and while the ghosts who appear to Richard III and Macbeth are guilty-ridden hallucinations, the ghost of Hamlet and the witches or weird sisters of Macbeth are given substance. Belief in ghosts and in witches remained widespread in Elizabethan England: King James...
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