"Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."
-the Second Witch from William Shakpeare's MacBeth, Act IV, Scene I
On the evening of Tuesday, October 23, Wendy Matlock, professor of English and Medievalist at CSUS, beguiled the audience at the Central Library's Sacramento Room with a thoughtful lecture and discussion on Witchcraft in the Middle Ages.
Who would have known that there was such a fine line between earthly and heavenly power and such a double standard regarding the acceptance of each? One may have also taken from the lecture the curious intolerance for witchcraft during the Renaissance, a time so dedicated to scientific exploration and acceptance. So, in spite of the Bard of Avon's invocation of the witch - more than once - in his Renaissance literature, withces had an easier go of it in the Middle Ages than during the Renaissance? Odd enough, but seemingly true.
Look for future lectures on English Literature and lore by Matlock. For details and registration, go to http://www.saclibrary.org/ or call 264-2920.