Tracing the Significance of the Prophecies of the Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the Nepali Shamans in the Perspective of Folklore

Proceedings of ‏The 4th International Conference on Research in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2021

DOI:

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Tracing the Significance of the Prophecies of the Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the Nepali Shamans in the Perspective of Folklore

Laxmi Rai and Dhananjay Tripathi

 

ABSTRACT: 

The practice of witchcraft like shamanism transcends the realms of religion, age and country. When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in (1606), witchcraft was a topic of considerable importance. The witches in Macbeth had the power to see into the future and create storms whereas the Nepali shamans acted as a visible link to the invisible future. The paper tries to assess the witches as mythological construction and an amalgamation of ancient folkloric elements. One such mythical and folkloric element is their unique art of prophesising. Like the prophecies of the witches the predictions of the shamans are clothed with metaphorical overtones. Besides, a  shaman and a witch is affiliated to the mystical world of enchantment as they conjure such mystical forces for strength and power acting as intermediaries between the human and the spirit world. The paper would not only highlight the homogeneity of folklore across cultures but it would also probe into the universality in ideas of the enchanting and superior truths personified by the witches and shamans.

Keywords: folkloric; mythical; mystical; shamanism; witchcraft.