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What is meant by Supernaturalism ?

Supernaturalism is one of the main features of romanticism. It is simply a belief in the  supernatural. It is a phenomenon which cannot be explained with the help of science. The belief in the supernatural has been universal in all ages. Supernatural element in literature gives it a new dimension. It is excersied both in poetry and prose.

Supernatural story is a comprehensive term. It may be applied to any sort of story of ghosts, ghouls, specters, apparitions, good and  evil spirits etc.  The Arabian Nights is a classic collection of supernatural story. Frankenstein  by Mary Shelley and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne are two examples of supernatural story in prose. Beowulf is the earliest epic having supernatural elements. During the Elizabethan Period (1558-1603), the people irrespective of literate and illiterate kept faith in the supernatural elements. Edmund Spenser deals with them in his immortal epic, The Faerie Queene. The people of the age were very much fond of enjoying supernatural elements and incidents on the stage.

It is William Shakespeare who touches the hearts of the audience through his works. In Macbeth,  he introduces supernatural elements and incidents to thrill his audience. In the Elizabethan Age, the old women , men of deformed body and the magicians were considered to be the Witches. Milton has used supernatural elements in his Paradise Lost and Comus. 
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner         
And Christabel by  S.T Coleridge have these elements. John Keats and Robert Browning have used them in their poetry too. The Supernatural in Hamlet appears in the form of the Ghost


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