Fairies and the Fae in the Early Modern World Q&A

Students ask questions about fairies and the Fae. I now answer them! It seems appropriate, since it is midsummer now and everyone is beginning to dream…

  • Did people in Shakespeare’s day actually believe in fairies and magic?
  • In your lectures, you mentioned that fairies were often viewed as malevolent beings. Was magic itself viewed as a malevolent force in Shakespeare’s time? Would fear of witches and satanic magic overlap the period where this play was originally shown? If so, how was the theatre able to draw in crowds of people to a show about magic and fairies if the common perception of them was less than savory?

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