The Three Witches known as the Weird Sisters or Wayward Sisters, are characters in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth. They hold a striking resemblance to the three Fates of classical mythology, are intended as a twisted version of the white-robed incarnations of destiny; the witches lead Macbeth to his demise. Their origin lies in Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of England and Ireland. Other possible sources, aside from Shakespeare's imagination, include British folklore, such contemporary treatises on witchcraft as King James VI of Scotland's Daemonologie, the Norns of Norse mythology, ancient classical myths of the Fates: the Greek Moirai and the Roman Parcae. Productions of Macbeth began incorporating portions of Thomas Middleton's contemporaneous play The Witch circa 1618, two years after Shakespeare's death. Shakespeare's witches are prophets who hail Macbeth, the general, early in the play, predict his ascent to kingship. Upon killing the king and gaining the throne of Scotland, Macbeth hears them ambiguously predict his eventual downfall.
The witches, their "filthy" trappings and supernatural activities, set an ominous tone for the play. Artists in the eighteenth century, including Henry Fuseli and William Rimmer, depicted the witches variously, as have many directors since; some have exaggerated or sensationalised the hags, or have adapted them to different cultures, as in Orson Welles's rendition of the weird sisters as voodoo priestesses. Some film adaptations have cast the witches as such modern analogues as hippies on drugs, or goth schoolgirls, their influence reaches the literary realm as well in such works as the Discworld and Harry Potter series. The name "weird sisters" is found in most modern editions of Macbeth. However, the First Folio's text reads: The weyward Sisters, hand in hand, Posters of the Sea and Land... In scenes in the first folio the witches are called "weyward", but never "weird"; the modern appellation "weird sisters" derives from Holinshed's original Chronicles. However, modern English spelling was only starting to become fixed by Shakespeare's time and the word'weird' had connotations beyond the common modern meaning.
The Wiktionary etymology for "weird" includes this observation: " was extinct by the 16th century in English. It survived in Scots, whence Shakespeare borrowed it in naming the Weird Sisters, reintroducing it to English; the senses "abnormal", "strange" etc. arose via reinterpretation of "Weird Sisters" and date from after this reintroduction." One of Shakespeare's principal sources for the Three Witches is found in the account of King Duncan in Raphael Holinshed's history of Britain, The Chronicles of England and Ireland. In Holinshed, the future King Macbeth of Scotland and his companion Banquo encounter "three women in strange and wild apparell, resembling creatures of elder world" who hail the men with glowing prophecies and vanish "immediately out of their sight". Holinshed observes that "the common opinion was that these women were either the Weird Sisters, that is… the goddesses of destiny, or else some nymphs or fairies endued with knowledge of prophecy by their necromantical science."Another principal source was the Daemonologie of King James published in 1597 which included a news pamphlet titled Newes from Scotland that detailed the infamous North Berwick witch trials of 1590.
Not only had this trial taken place in Scotland, witches involved confessed to attempt the use of witchcraft to raise a tempest and sabotage the boat King James and the Queen of Scots were on board during their return trip from Denmark. The three witches discuss the raising of winds at sea in the opening lines of Act 1 Scene 3; the news pamphlet states: Moreover she confessed that at the time when his Majesty was in Denmark, she being accompanied with the parties before specially named, took a Cat and christened it, afterward bound to each part of that Cat, the cheefest parts of a dead man, several joints of his body, that in the night following the said Cat was conveyed into the midst of the sea by all these witches sailing in their riddles or Cues as aforesaid, so left the said Cat right before the Town of Leith in Scotland: this done, there did arise such a tempest in the Sea, as a greater has not been seen: which tempest was the cause of the perishing of a Boat or vessel coming over from the town of Brunt Island to the town of Leith, of, many Jewels and rich gifts, which should have been presented to the current Queen of Scotland, at her Majesty's coming to Leith.
Again it is confessed, that the said christened Cat was the cause that the King Majesty's Ship at his coming forth of Denmark, had a contrary wind to the rest of his Ships being in his company, which thing was most strange and true, as the King's Majesty acknowledges – Daemonologie, Newes from Scotland The concept of the Three Witches themselves may have been influenced by the Old Norse skaldic poem Darraðarljóð, in which twelve valkyries weave and choose, to be slain at the Battle of Clontarf. Shakespeare's creation of the Three Witches may have been influenced by an anti-witchcraft law passed by King James nine years a law, to stay untouched for over 130 years, his characters' "chappy fingers", "skinny lips", "beards", for example, are not found in Holinshed. Macbeth's Hillock near Brodie, between Forres and Nairn in Scotland, has long been identified as the mythical meeting place of Macbeth and the witches. Traditionally, Forres is believed to have been the home of both Macbeth. However, Samuel Taylor Coleridge proposed that the three weird sisters should be seen as ambiguous figures
Bernard Herrmann was an American composer best known for his work in composing for motion pictures. As a conductor, he championed the music of lesser-known composers. An Academy Award-winner, Herrmann is known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, he composed scores for many other films, including Citizen Kane, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Cape Fear, Fahrenheit 451, Taxi Driver, he worked extensively in radio drama, composed the scores for several fantasy films by Ray Harryhausen, many TV programs, including Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone and Have Gun – Will Travel. Herrmann, the son of a Jewish middle-class family of Russian origin, was born in New York City as Max Herman, he was the son of Ida and Abram Dardik, from Ukraine and had changed the family name. Herrmann attended high school at DeWitt Clinton High School, an all-boys public school at that time on 10th Avenue and 59th Street in New York City.
His father encouraged music activity, taking him to the opera, encouraging him to learn the violin. After winning a composition prize at the age of thirteen, he decided to concentrate on music, went to New York University, where he studied with Percy Grainger and Philip James, he studied at the Juilliard School and, at the age of twenty, formed his own orchestra, the New Chamber Orchestra of New York. In 1934, he joined the Columbia Broadcasting System as a staff conductor. Within two years he was appointed music director of the Columbia Workshop, an experimental radio drama series for which Herrmann composed or arranged music. Within nine years, he had become Chief Conductor to the CBS Symphony Orchestra, he was responsible for introducing more new works to US audiences than any other conductor — he was a particular champion of Charles Ives' music, unknown at that time. Herrmann's radio programs of concert music, which were broadcast under such titles as Invitation to Music and Exploring Music, were planned in an unconventional way and featured heard music and new, not heard in public concert halls.
Examples include broadcasts devoted to music of famous amateurs or of notable royal personages, such as the music of Frederick the Great of Prussia, Henry VIII, Charles I, Louis XIII and so on. Herrmann's many US broadcast premieres during the 1940s included Myaskovsky's 22nd Symphony, Gian Francesco Malipiero's 3rd Symphony, Richard Arnell's 1st Symphony, Edmund Rubbra's 3rd Symphony and Ives' 3rd Symphony, he performed the works of Hermann Goetz, Alexander Gretchaninov, Niels Gade and Franz Liszt, received many outstanding American musical awards and grants for his unusual programming and championship of little-known composers. In Dictators of the Baton, David Ewen wrote that Herrmann was "one of the most invigorating influences in the radio music of the past decade." During the 1940s, Herrmann's own concert music was taken up and played by such celebrated maestri as Leopold Stokowski, Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Thomas Beecham and Eugene Ormandy. Between two films made by Orson Welles, he wrote the score for William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster, for which he won his only Oscar.
In 1947, Herrmann scored the atmospheric music for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. In 1951 his score for The Day the Earth Stood Still featured the Theremin. In 1934, Herrmann met a young CBS secretary and aspiring writer, Lucille Fletcher. Fletcher was impressed with Herrmann's work, the two began a five-year courtship. Marriage was delayed by the objections of Fletcher's parents, who disliked the fact that Herrmann was a Jew and were put off by what they viewed as his abrasive personality; the couple married on October 2, 1939. They had two daughters: Dorothy and Wendy. Fletcher was to become a noted radio scriptwriter, she and Herrmann collaborated on several projects throughout their career, he contributed the score to the famed 1941 radio presentation of Fletcher's original story, The Hitch-Hiker, on The Orson Welles Show. The couple divorced in 1948; the next year he married Lucille's cousin, Lucy Anderson. That marriage lasted 16 years, until 1964. While at CBS, Herrmann met Orson Welles, wrote or arranged scores for radio shows in which Welles appeared or wrote, such as the Columbia Workshop, Welles's Mercury Theatre on the Air and Campbell Playhouse series, which were radio adaptations of literature and film.
He conducted the live performances, including Welles's famous adaptation of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds broadcast on October 30, 1938, which consisted of pre-existing music. Herrmann used large sections of his score for the inaugural broadcast of The Campbell Playhouse, an adaptation of Rebecca, for the feature film Jane Eyre, the third film in which Welles starred; when Welles gained his RKO Pictures contract, Herrmann worked for him. He wrote his first film score for Citizen Kane and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score of a Dramatic Picture, he composed the score for Welles's second film, The Magnificent Ambersons. When more than half of his score was removed from the soundtrack, Herrmann bitterly severed his ties with the film and promised legal action if his name were not removed from the credits. Herrmann created the music for Welles's
Lady Macbeth is a leading character in William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth. The wife of the play's tragic hero, Lady Macbeth goads her husband into committing regicide, after which she becomes queen of Scotland. However, she suffers pangs of guilt for her part in the crime, which drives her to sleepwalk, she dies off-stage in an apparent suicide. According to some genealogists, Lady Macbeth and King Duncan's wife were siblings or cousins, where Duncan's wife had a stronger claim to the throne than Lady Macbeth, it was this that incited her hatred of Duncan. The character's origins lie in the accounts of Kings Duff and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of Britain familiar to Shakespeare. Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth appears to be a composite of two separate and distinct personages in Holinshed's work: Donwald's nagging, murderous wife in the account of King Duff and Macbeth's ambitious wife Gruoch of Scotland in the account of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth is a powerful presence in the play, most notably in the first two acts.
Following the murder of King Duncan, her role in the plot diminishes. She becomes an uninvolved spectator to Macbeth's plotting and a nervous hostess at a banquet dominated by her husband's hallucinations, her sleepwalking scene in the fifth act is a turning point in the play, her line "Out, damned spot!" has become a phrase familiar to many speakers of the English language. The report of her death late in the fifth act provides the inspiration for Macbeth's "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" speech. Analysts see in the character of Lady Macbeth the conflict between femininity and masculinity as they are impressed in cultural norms. Lady Macbeth suppresses her instincts toward compassion and fragility — associated with femininity — in favour of ambition and the singleminded pursuit of power; this conflict colours the entire drama and sheds light on gender-based preconceptions from Shakespearean England to the present. The role has attracted countless notable actors over the centuries, including Sarah Siddons, Charlotte Melmoth, Helen Faucit, Ellen Terry, Jeanette Nolan, Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, Vivien Merchant, Glenda Jackson, Francesca Annis, Judith Anderson, Judi Dench, Renee O'Connor, Keeley Hawes, Alex Kingston and Marion Cotillard and Hannah Taylor-Gordon Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth appeared to be a composite of two personages found in the account of King Duff and in the account of King Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles.
In the account of King Duff, one of his captains, suffers the deaths of his kinsmen at the orders of the king. Donwald considers regicide at "the setting on of his wife", who "showed him the means whereby he might soonest accomplish it." Donwald perseveres at the nagging of his wife. After plying the king's servants with food and drink and letting them fall asleep, the couple admit their confederates to the king's room, where they commit the regicide; the murder of Duff has its motivation in revenge rather than ambition. In Holinshed's account of King Duncan, the discussion of Lady Macbeth is confined to a single sentence: "The words of the three Weird Sisters greatly encouraged him hereunto. Not found in Holinshed are the invocation to the "spirits that tend on mortal thoughts," the sleepwalking scene, various details found in the drama concerning the death of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth makes her first appearance late in scene five of the first act, when she learns in a letter from her husband that three witches have prophesied his future as king.
When King Duncan becomes her overnight guest, Lady Macbeth seizes the opportunity to effect his murder. Aware her husband's temperament is "too full o' the milk of human kindness" for committing a regicide, she plots the details of the murder; the king retires after a night of feasting. Lady Macbeth lays daggers ready for the commission of the crime. Macbeth kills the sleeping king; when he brings the daggers from the king's room, Lady Macbeth orders him to return them to the scene of the crime. He refuses, she smears the drugged attendants with blood. The couple retire to wash their hands. Following the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth's role in the plot diminishes; when Duncan's sons flee the land in fear for their own lives, Macbeth is appointed king. Without consulting his queen, Macbeth plots other murders in order to secure his throne, and, at a royal banquet, the queen is forced to dismiss her guests when Macbeth hallucinates. In her last appearance, she sleepwalks in profound torment, she dies off-stage, with suicide being suggested as its cause, when Malcolm declares that she died by "self and violent hands."
In the First Folio, the only source for the play, she is never referred to as Lady Macbeth, but variously as "Macbeth's wife", "Macbeth's lady", or just "lady". The sleepwalking scene is one of the more celebrated scenes from Macbeth, indeed, in all of Shakespeare, it has no counterpart in Holinshed's Chronicles, Shakespeare's source material for the play, but is the bard's invention. A. C. Bradley notes that, with the exception of the scene's few closing lines, the scene is in prose with Lady Macbeth being the only major character in Shakespearean tragedy to make a last appearance "denied the dignity of verse." According to Bradley
In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits were believed to be supernatural entities that would assist witches and cunning folk in their practice of magic. According to the records of the time, they would appear in numerous guises as an animal, but at times as a human or humanoid figure, were described as "clearly defined, three-dimensional… forms, vivid with colour and animated with movement and sound" by those alleging to have come into contact with them, unlike descriptions of ghosts with their "smoky, undefined form"; when they served witches, they were thought to be malevolent, while when working for cunning folk they were thought of as benevolent. The former were categorised as demons, while the latter were more thought of and described as fairies; the main purpose of familiars is to serve the witch or young witch, providing protection for them as they come into their new powers. Since the 20th century a number of magical practitioners, including adherents of the Neopagan religion of Wicca, have begun to use the concept of familiars, due to their association with older forms of magic.
These contemporary practitioners utilize pets, wildlife or believe that invisible spirit versions of familiars act as magical aids. Pierre A. Riffard proposed this definition and quotations A familiar spirit – is the double, the alter-ego, of an individual, it does not look like the individual concerned. Though it may have an independent life of its own, it remains linked to the individual; the familiar spirit can be an animal. The French poet Charles Baudelaire, a cat fancier, believed in familiar spirits, it is the familiar spirit of the place. When my eyes, drawn like a magnet To this cat that I love… A. P. Elkin studied the belief in familiar spirits among the Australian Aborigines: A usual method, or explanation, is that the medicine man sends his familiar spirit to gather the information. While this is occurring, the man himself is in sleep or trance. In modern phraseology, his familiar spirit would be the control. Mircea Eliade: The Goldi distinguish between the tutelary spirit, which chooses the shaman, the helping spirits, which are subordinate to it and are granted to the shaman by the ayami itself.
According to Sternberg the Goldi explain the relations between the shaman and his ayami by a complex sexual emotion. Here is the report of a Goldi shaman. "Once I was asleep on my sick-bed. It was a beautiful woman, her figure was slight, she was no more than half an arshin tall. Her face and attire were quite as those of one of our Gold women… She said:'I am the ayami of your ancestors, the Shamans. I taught them shamaning. Now I am going to teach you… I love you, I have no husband now, you will be my husband and I shall be a wife unto you. I shall give you assistant spirits. You are to heal with their aid, I shall teach and help you myself…' Sometimes she comes under the aspect of an old woman, sometimes under that of a wolf, so she is terrible to look at. Sometimes she comes as a winged tiger… She has given me three assistants-the jarga, the doonto and the amba, they come to me in my dreams, appear whenever I summon them while shamaning. If one of them refuses to come, the ayami makes them obey, they say, there are some who do not obey the ayami.
When I am shamaning, the ayami and the assistant spirits are possessing me. When the ayami is within me, it is she who speaks through my mouth, she does everything herself." Among those accused witches and cunning-folk who described their familiar spirits, there were certain unifying features. The historian Emma Wilby noted how the accounts of such familiars were striking for their "ordinariness" and "naturalism", despite the fact that they were dealing with supernatural entities. Familiar spirits were most small animals, such as cats, dogs, birds, frogs and hares. There were cases of wasps and butterflies, as well as pigs and horses. Familiar spirits were kept in pots or baskets lined with sheep’s wool and fed a variety of things including, bread and blood. Familiar spirits had names and "were given down-to-earth, affectionate, nicknames." One example of this was Tom Reid, the familiar of the cunning-woman and accused witch Bessie Dunlop, while other examples included Grizell and Gridigut, who were the familiars of 17th century Huntingdonshire witch Jane Wallis.
An Agathion is a familiar spirit which appears in the shape of a human or an animal, or within a talisman, bottle or magic ring. It is strongest at midday. Familiars can hold the form of human beings, living life as a human in the corporeal world; these familiars have child-like personalities closely identifying with mythical fairies, woodland nymphs, elves, small birds and cats. This form of familiar holds a great amount of purity, a type of energy and a metaphysical power, directly connected to their charge; this form of familiar acts as a spiritual battery or amplifier for their charge to help them focus or harness their spiritual energies. These familiars are u
Film noir is a cinematic term used to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classical film noir period is regarded as extending from the early 1920s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key, black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression; the term film noir, French for "black film" or "dark film", was first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, but was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic film noir were referred to as "melodramas". Whether film noir qualifies as a distinct genre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.
Film noir encompasses a range of plots: the central figure may be a private investigator, a plainclothes policeman, an aging boxer, a hapless grifter, a law-abiding citizen lured into a life of crime, or a victim of circumstance. Although film noir was associated with American productions, the term has been used to describe films from around the world. Many films released from the 1960s onward share attributes with film noirs of the classical period, treat its conventions self-referentially; some refer to such latter-day works as neo-noir. The clichés of film noir have inspired parody since the mid-1940s; the questions of what defines film noir, what sort of category it is, provoke continuing debate. "We'd be oversimplifying things in calling film noir oneiric, erotic and cruel..."—this set of attributes constitutes the first of many attempts to define film noir made by French critics Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton in their 1955 book Panorama du film noir américain 1941–1953, the original and seminal extended treatment of the subject.
They emphasize that not every film noir embodies all five attributes in equal measure—one might be more dreamlike. The authors' caveats and repeated efforts at alternative definition have been echoed in subsequent scholarship: in the more than five decades since, there have been innumerable further attempts at definition, yet in the words of cinema historian Mark Bould, film noir remains an "elusive phenomenon... always just out of reach". Though film noir is identified with a visual style, unconventional within a Hollywood context, that emphasizes low-key lighting and unbalanced compositions, films identified as noir evidence a variety of visual approaches, including ones that fit comfortably within the Hollywood mainstream. Film noir embraces a variety of genres, from the gangster film to the police procedural to the gothic romance to the social problem picture—any example of which from the 1940s and 1950s, now seen as noir's classical era, was to be described as a melodrama at the time.
While many critics refer to film noir as a genre itself, others argue. Foster Hirsch defines a genre as determined by "conventions of narrative structure, characterization and visual design". Hirsch, as one who has taken the position that film noir is a genre, argues that these elements are present "in abundance". Hirsch notes that there are unifying features of tone, visual style and narrative sufficient to classify noir as a distinct genre. Others argue. Film noir is associated with an urban setting, but many classic noirs take place in small towns, rural areas, or on the open road. While the private eye and the femme fatale are character types conventionally identified with noir, the majority of film noirs feature neither. Nor does film noir rely on anything as evident as the monstrous or supernatural elements of the horror film, the speculative leaps of the science fiction film, or the song-and-dance routines of the musical. An analogous case is that of the screwball comedy accepted by film historians as constituting a "genre": the screwball is defined not by a fundamental attribute, but by a general disposition and a group of elements, some—but and never all—of which are found in each of the genre's films.
Because of the diversity of noir, certain scholars in the field, such as film historian Thomas Schatz, treat it as not a genre but a "style". Alain Silver, the most published American critic specializing in film noir studies, refers to film noir as a "cycle" and a "phenomenon" as he argues that it has—like certain genres—a consistent set of visual and thematic codes. Other critics treat film noir as a "mood", characterize it as a "series", or address a chosen set of films they regard as belonging to the noir "canon". There is no consensus on the matter; the aesthetics of film noir are influenced by German Expressionism, an artistic movement of the 1910s and 1920s that involved theater, painting and architecture, as well as cinema. The opportunities offered by the booming Hollywood film industry and the threat of Nazism, led to the emigration of many film artists working in Germany, involved in the Expressionist movement or studied wit
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, mime, etc, performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory; the term "drama" comes from a Greek word meaning "action", derived from "I do". The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic division between comedy and tragedy. In English, the word "play" or "game" was the standard term used to describe drama until William Shakespeare's time—just as its creator was a "play-maker" rather than a "dramatist" and the building was a "play-house" rather than a "theatre"; the use of "drama" in a more narrow sense to designate a specific type of play dates from the modern era. "Drama" in this sense refers to a play, neither a comedy nor a tragedy—for example, Zola's Thérèse Raquin or Chekhov's Ivanov. It is this narrower sense that the film and television industries, along with film studies, adopted to describe "drama" as a genre within their respective media.
"Radio drama" has been used in both senses—originally transmitted in a live performance, it has been used to describe the more high-brow and serious end of the dramatic output of radio. The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception; the structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. Mime is a form of drama. Drama can be combined with music: the dramatic text in opera is sung throughout. Musicals include songs. Closet drama describes a form, intended to be read, rather than performed. In improvisation, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance. Western drama originates in classical Greece; the theatrical culture of the city-state of Athens produced three genres of drama: tragedy and the satyr play. Their origins remain obscure, though by the 5th century BC they were institutionalised in competitions held as part of festivities celebrating the god Dionysus.
Historians know the names of many ancient Greek dramatists, not least Thespis, credited with the innovation of an actor who speaks and impersonates a character, while interacting with the chorus and its leader, who were a traditional part of the performance of non-dramatic poetry. Only a small fraction of the work of five dramatists, has survived to this day: we have a small number of complete texts by the tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides, the comic writers Aristophanes and, from the late 4th century, Menander. Aeschylus' historical tragedy The Persians is the oldest surviving drama, although when it won first prize at the City Dionysia competition in 472 BC, he had been writing plays for more than 25 years; the competition for tragedies may have begun as early as 534 BC. Tragic dramatists were required to present a tetralogy of plays, which consisted of three tragedies and one satyr play. Comedy was recognized with a prize in the competition from 487 to 486 BC. Five comic dramatists competed at the City Dionysia.
Ancient Greek comedy is traditionally divided between "old comedy", "middle comedy" and "new comedy". Following the expansion of the Roman Republic into several Greek territories between 270–240 BC, Rome encountered Greek drama. From the years of the republic and by means of the Roman Empire, theatre spread west across Europe, around the Mediterranean and reached England. While Greek drama continued to be performed throughout the Roman period, the year 240 BC marks the beginning of regular Roman drama. From the beginning of the empire, interest in full-length drama declined in favour of a broader variety of theatrical entertainments; the first important works of Roman literature were the tragedies and comedies that Livius Andronicus wrote from 240 BC. Five years Gnaeus Naevius began to write drama. No plays from either writer have survived. While both dramatists composed in both genres, Andronicus was most appreciated for his tragedies and Naevius for his comedies. By the beginning of the 2nd century BC, drama was established in Rome and a guild of writers had been formed.
The Roman comedies that have survived are all fabula palliata (comedies b
Forfar is the county town of Angus and the administrative centre for Angus Council. It has a population of 14,048. Forfar dates back to the temporary Roman occupation of the area, was subsequently held by the Picts and the Kingdom of Scotland, it was occupied by the English before being recaptured by the Scots and presented to Robert the Bruce during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Forfar has been both a major manufacturing centre for linen and jute. Today the main activities are tourism around scenic Strathmore; the local glens are visited by hill-walkers, there are ski-slopes in the mountains. The town has a League One football club, Forfar Athletic and a National League rugby team, the Strathmore Silverbacks; the Forfar bridie, a Scottish meat pastry snack, is traditionally identified with the town. During one of the Roman invasions of modern-day Scotland, the Romans established a major camp at Battledykes 3 miles north of Forfar. From Battledykes northward the Romans established a succession of camps including Stracathro and Normandykes.
During the Middle Ages, a "claimant" to the throne, the daughter of the leader of the Meic Uilleim, who were descendants of King Duncan II, had her brains dashed out on Forfar market cross in 1230 while still an infant. During the First War of Scottish Independence, the castle of Forfar was held by the English. After Robert the Bruce's victory over the Earl of Buchan, the Forester of Platane, together with some of his friends raised ladders against the wall and, climbing over, surprised the garrison and slew them, he yielded the castle to Bruce, who rewarded him and gave instructions for its demolition. The Meffan Museum is in the heart of the town, it was built by a daughter of the Provost Meffan as a bequest in 1898. It is home of the Forfar story, it is an art gallery and a meeting place for local speakers, summer clubs for children and groups. The story of Forfar takes you from the history of the little cobbler shops to the burning of the witch Helen Guthrie. There is a good selection of Pictish stones found in and around Forfar and Kirriemuir.
The Large Class I Pictish stone, with a rare carving of a flower, is called the Dunnichen Stone. It was found in the early 19th century, it was displayed at a church in the vicinity at Dunnichen House. In 1966 it was relocated at St Vigeans and moved to Dundee museum in 1972. After the Meffan Institute had been renovated it was brought to Forfar on a long term loan where it is displayed alongside the Kirriemuir Sculptured Stones. There is a canoe, excavated from Forfar Loch, that dates back to the 11th century. Like other parts of Angus, Forfar was home to a successful textile industry during and after the Industrial Revolution. In the late 18th century the firm of William Don & Co. was founded in the town. The firm bought and sold webs of linen which were woven in local cottages, although it operated a small weaving shed. In 1865 the firm merged with A J Buist, a Dundee based firm, began construction of St James Works in Forfar; the partnership operated mills in Dundee and built Station Works in Forfar, which contained some 300 looms.
Workers housing was built by the firm in Forfar. Don Brothers, Buist & Company Ltd, as the firm was known from 1904, built another works in Forfar, at Strang Street, in 1929. In 1960 it merged with another Dundee firm, Low Brothers & Co Ltd becoming Don & Low Ltd. By the 1980s the Don & Low group was the United Kingdom's biggest polypropylene textile extrusion and weaving unit; the firm retains premises in Forfar producing woven and non-woven polypropylene industrial textile products and plastic food packaging. In 1958 Don Brothers, Buist & Co Ltd acquired a controlling interest in another Forfar based-textile firm, Moffat & Son Ltd, who operated Haugh Works in South Street. Another important Forfar textile firm was J & A Craik & Company and Jute Manufacturers, based at the Manor Works. Craiks was started in 1863 when James Craik obtained land in Forfar to build the Manor Works and the company survived until 1981, the year in which it became part of the Low and Bonar group. Craiks owned Forfar Fabrics Ltd, incorporated in 1965, which amalgamated with Low & Bonar Textiles Limited in 1981.
The jute manufacturers, John Lowson, Jnr & Co Ltd operated in Forfar, operating out of Victoria Works. In 1911 more than 20% of workers in Forfar were employed in the jute industry. Employment levels in this industry dramatically declined in other parts of Angus, including Dundee, during the next four decades. Notably in Dundee, the centre of the British jute industry, more than 40.4% of the working population had worked in the jute industry in 1911, but by 1951 this had fallen to just 18.5%. In Forfar, however this trend was not followed as percentage of the workforce employed in the jute industry had risen to 24.4% by 1951. In the town there is a metal plaque to General Sikorski and the Polish troops commemorating the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to the town on 7 March 1941; the metal plaque is located on a wall on Market Street below the Sheriff Court building. It was here on 7 March 1941 that the Royal couple, along with General Sikorski, took the salute in the march past of the Polish troops.
Forfar is a parish and former royal burgh. It is the county town of Angus, known as Forfarshire from the 18th century until 1929; the town is rep