As a geek I have to love this article that explains how Shakespeare may have done the “dagger that I see before me” trick in Macbeth. I guess I never really thought about Shakespeare using special effects before, and assumed that maybe an all-black dressed stagehand held the dagger and walked backwards or something.
Not so, says the article, which details the work of Professor Iain Wright. Wright stumbled across the work of John Dee, a scientist during Shakespeare’s time. “I suddenly ran up against this description of a man staring back with amazement at a floating dagger, and of the ‘marvellous glass’ that produced it,” says Wright. He logically goes on to make the case that Shakespeare would have known about such tricks and worked them into plays like Macbeth, not only for the dagger but perhaps for the ghosts themselves.