The Practices of Maleficium in English Literature

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Shaymaa F. Hasan


There is a long tradition among scholars to establish a link between the practice of black magic and culture. Black magic is seen as a category under which various beliefs and practices which are usually separated from religion and science are placed. These practices are most of the time associated with evil and demons. It has been observed that the role of black magic and witchcraft influenced Western societies to a large extent as it was not only the subject of literature but also of the interest to the whole society. Fears of witchcraft and black magic grew more intense and consequently led to “witch hunts” in many Western societies. In this paper, I argue that in English literature, the practice of black magic and witchcraft has been represented as a cultural practice. My paper provides a quick survey to trace back the practices of witchcraft in selected literary works from English literature. In my analysis, I focus of how the practice of black magic and sorcery is embedded within the texts to reflect people’s obsession of it. For the sake of my argument, I will use the word “Maleficium” as an umbrella term to refer to all the practices, which include: Black magic, witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy, and voodoo


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Hasan, S. F. (2020) “The Practices of Maleficium in English Literature”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(1), pp. 73-80. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v3n1y2020.pp73-80.
Author Biography

Shaymaa F. Hasan, Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Shaymaa F. Hasan., is an academic staff at the Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. She Joined Koya University in September 2005 as a lecturer in English Short Story and Novel.  She holds a BA in English Language and Literature, University of Baghdad (2001) and MA in American Short Story (2004), University of Baghdad, Iraq. She got she's Ph.D. in Modern English and American Novel (2013), Koya University, Kurdistan. She’s research and teaching interests are in English and American Novel, Short Story, Renaissance Drama, Modern Drama and Feminism. She teaches Renaissance and English Novel for Undergraduates. She teaches Modern Drama for Post Graduates. 



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