The Role of Superstition in Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Shakespeare’s Macbeth: A Comparative Study

Date
2016-02-26
Authors
Nafi’, Jamal Subhi Ismail
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Journal ISSN
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Publisher
Canadian Center of Science and Education
Abstract
This article is an attempt to explore the inclusion and the use of superstitious elements in Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) and Shakespeare’s play Macbeth (1611). Superstition involves a deep belief in the magic and the occult, to almost to an extent of obsession, which is contrary to realism. Through the analytical and psychological approaches, this paper tries to shed light on Twain’s and Shakespeare’s use of supernaturalism in their respective stories, and the extent the main characters are influenced by it. A glance at both stories reveals that characters are highly affected by superstitions, more than they are influenced by their religious beliefs, or other social factors and values. The researcher also tries to explore the role played by superstition, represented by fate and the supernatural in determining the course of actions characters undertake in both dramas. The paper concluded that the people who lived in the past were superstitious to an extent of letting magic, omens; signs, etc. affect and determine their lives; actions and future decisions. They determine their destiny and make it very difficult for them to avoid it, alter it or think rationally and independently. And that, man’s actions are not isolated, but closely connected to the various forces operating in the universe.
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Keywords
ghosts, horror, mystery, Huckleberry Finn, Macbeth, magic, superstition, Shakespeare, supernatural, Twain
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