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«We Three»

The Mythology of Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters

Laura Shamas

The Weird Sisters, from William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, are arguably the most famous trio of witches in English literature. Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters are a complex trinitarian mythological construction – a unique amalgamation of classical, folkloric, and socio-political elements. This book is an archetypal exploration of the Weird Sisters; by examining this feminine trio through the lens of mythology, new insights about their significance may be understood. The ramifications extend from classical comprehension to twenty-first century pop culture observations related to female trios.

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Bibliography Abrahams, Roger D. Foreward. The Ritual Process by Victor Turner. New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1995. v–xii. Adelman, Janet. “ ‘Born of Woman’: Fantasies of Maternal Power in Macbeth.” Cannibals, Witches, and Divorce: Estranging the Renaissance. Ed. Marjorie Garber. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1987. 90–121. ———. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare’s Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. New York: Routledge, 1992. Anderson, Alan and Raymond Gordon. “Witchcraft and the Status of Women—the case of England.” British Journal of Sociology. 29.2, 1978. 171–184. Andrews, Tamra. A Dictionary of Nature Myths. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Aronson, Alex. Psyche & Symbol in Shakespeare. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1972. Asimov, Isaac. Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare. New York: Wings Books, 1970. Auerbach, Erich. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Trans. Willard R. Trask. New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1953. Baring, Ann and Jules Cashford. The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image. London: Arkana Penguin, 1991. Barstow, Anne Llewellyn. Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts. San Francisco: Pandora, 1994. Baum, L. Frank. The {Wonderful] Wizard of Oz. Illustrated by William Wallace Denslow. Chicago: George M. Hill Company, 1900. Bell, Robert E. Women of Classical Mythology. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. Bevington, David, ed. Introduction to Macbeth. Macbeth by William Shakespeare. New York: Bantam, 1980. xix–xxviii. ——— “Macbeth in Performance.” Macbeth by William Shakespeare. New York: Bantam, 1980. xxix–xxxvii. “Bewitched: Welcome to the Magic.” 30 June 2003. http://www.angelfire.com/nm/mc/B1.html Biggins, Dennis. “Sexuality, Witchcraft, and Violence in Macbeth...

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