Spellbound: Is Juliet Birdman Based on a Real Witch?

Hulu’s ‘Spellbound’ is a fantasy drama series about Cece Parker Jones, a 15-year-old ballet dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet School. However, Cece’s life turns upside down when she discovers she comes from a family of witches and has magical powers. In the finale, Cece encounters Juliet Birdman, a powerful witch with ties to one of history’s greatest writers. As a result, viewers must be wondering if Juliet is based on a real witch. SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Inspiration Behind Juliet Birdman

Juliet Birdman is introduced in the twelfth episode of ‘Spellbound’ season 1. She is a Wizen from the 17th century who is responsible for placing a curse on William Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth.’ The series reveals that Juliet was one of the Wizens – a powerful Witch who had moved to Paris, France. She was a vagabond who traveled with her caravan, helping villages fight disease and illness with her potions. However, she was also a performer, and one of her works was stolen and plagiarised by Shakespeare. As a result, Juliet cursed the playwright’s play only for it to trap her in limbo for nearly four hundred years inadvertently.

Juliet is not directly based on any particular real witch. However, the character’s story may have origins in a real myth surrounding the famous play of ‘Macbeth.’ According to theatrical superstition, saying the play’s name out loud in a theater can cause disaster. Therefore, the play is called “The Scottish Play” or “The Bard’s Play.” It is said that the superstition stems from a curse on the play. It has been widely speculated that a coven of witches had cast a curse on Shakespeare’s play. The witches were angry at Shakespeare for using a real spell and incantations in his play, which features the characters of “Three Witches,” representing the three Fates of classical mythology.

The series likely draws some inspiration from the real myth about the curse placed on Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth.’ However, no evidence proves Witches cursed the play. Instead, several other logical reasonings have been provided for the disasters caused by the supposed curse. Nonetheless, the series finds an interesting way of connecting the real-life myth to its fictional narrative by introducing the character of Juliet Birdman, a fictional character who happens to be a witch with a connection to Shakespeare.

In the season 1 finale, Juliet reveals she has been stuck in limbo for over four hundred years and uses Cece to escape captivity by completing her spell. As a result, Juliet could become one of the major recurring villains in the show’s upcoming second season. Nontheless, Juliet’s presence in the story serves as a clever nod to the curse of “The Scottish Play” while also building upon the lore and mythology of the show’s fictional and fantasy elements that intrigue and captivate the audience.

Read More: How Is Spellbound Connected to Find Me in Paris?