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Portents and Omens in Hamlet
Transcript of Portents and Omens in Hamlet
The Elizabethans were highly superstitious people. They believed in the interconnectedness of the universe. The problems in the human world would be reflected in the natural realm. Shakespeare 's tragedies reflected these feelings with superstitions and portents.
Nostadamus born in France 1503
trained as doctor and astrologist
treatment of patients during Black Death was successful
wrote prophetic verses when staring into water or flame
predicted his own death
The Seneca Prologue Ghost
ghosts and witches regularly appear.
By the time Hamlet was written it was common to have ghosts appear at the beginning of a play