Renaissance Natural Philosophy Magic - Essay


(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Robert Hunter West

SOURCE: "The Basic Terms and Principal Authors," in The Invisible World: A Study of Pneumatology in Elizabethan Drama, University of Georgia Press, 1939, pp. 1-14.

[In the following excerpt, West discusses pneumatological writings that influenced seventeenth-century beliefs regarding witchcraft, demons, and magic.]

In The Year 1607, while Macbeth was perhaps on the stage in London, the Courts of Assizes of the adjacent county of Essex returned nine indictments for witchcraft, the celebrated occultist Dr. John Dee was still experimenting with his spirit stone, and a daemonologist sat on the throne of England. The...

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