Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"Double, double toil and trouble"

Eye of newt is a real thing, but not literally.
All of the ingredients in the witches brew are simply ancient terms for herbs, flowers and plants. Some say witches gave these flora gross and disturbing names to deter other people from practicing witchcraft. Here's the translated plant list of what's really in Shakespeare's cauldron [source: Beale]:
  • Eye of newt - mustard seed
  • Toe of frog - buttercup
  • Wool of bat - holly leaves
  • Tongue of dog - houndstongue
  • Adders fork - adders tongue
  • Blind-worm - okay, a blindworm is a real thing; a tiny snake thought to be venomous