A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion

OUP Oxford
Free sample

On 19 December 1601, John Croke, then Speaker of the House of Commons, addressed his colleagues: "If a question should be asked, What is the first and chief thing in a Commonwealth to be regarded? I should say, religion. If, What is the second? I should say, religion. If, What the third? I should still say, religion." But if religion was recognized as the "chief thing in a Commonwealth," we have been less certain what it does in Shakespeare's plays. Written and performed in a culture in which religion was indeed inescapable, the plays have usually been seen either as evidence of Shakespeare's own disinterested secularism or, more recently, as coded signposts to his own sectarian commitments. Based upon the inaugural series of the Oxford-Wells Shakespeare Lectures in 2008, A Will to Believe offers a thoughtful, surprising, and often moving consideration of how religion actually functions in them: not as keys to Shakespeare's own faith but as remarkably sensitive registers of the various ways in which religion charged the world in which he lived. The book shows what we know and can't know about Shakespeare's own beliefs, and demonstrates, in a series of wonderfully alert and agile readings, how the often fraught and vertiginous religious environment of Post-Reformation England gets refracted by the lens of Shakespeare's imagination.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

David Scott Kastan is the George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale University. Among his books are Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time (1982), Shakespeare after Theory (1999), and Shakespeare and the Book (2001). He has produced important scholarly editions of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Marlowe's Dr. Faustus; and he edited the five-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature (2006). He currently serves as one of the general editors of the Arden Shakespeare.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jan 16, 2014
Read more
Collapse
Pages
192
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780191004292
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Best For
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Drama / Shakespeare
History / Europe / Renaissance
Literary Criticism / Renaissance
Literary Criticism / Shakespeare
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Unsettled Toleration: Religious Difference on the Shakespearean Stage historicizes and scrutinizes the unstable concept of toleration as it emerges in drama performed on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stages. Brian Walsh examines plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries that represent intra-Christian conflict between mainstream believers and various minorities, analyzing the sometimes explicit, sometimes indirect, occasionally smooth, but more often halting and equivocal forms of dealing with difference that these plays imagine can result from such exchanges. Through innovative and in some cases unprecedented readings of a diverse collection of plays, from Chapman's An Humorous Day's Mirth, Middleton's The Puritan Widow, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and Pericles, and Rowley's When You See Me You Know Me, Walsh shows how the English stage in the first decade of the seventeenth century, as a social barometer, registered the basic condition of religious "unsettlement " of the post-Reformation era; and concurrently that the stage, as a social incubator, brooded over imagined scenarios of confessional conflict that could end variously in irresolution, accommodation, or even religious syncretism. It thus helped to create, sustain and enlarge an open-ended public conversation on the vicissitudes of getting along in a sectarian world. Attending to this conversation is vital to our present understanding of the state of religious toleration the early modern period, for it gives a fuller picture of the ways religious difference was experienced than the limited and inert pronouncements on the topic that officials of the church and state offered.
This book explores how recollections and traces of the reign of Richard III survived a century and more to influence the world and work of William Shakespeare. In Richard III, Shakespeare depicts an era that had only recently passed beyond the horizon of living memory. The years between Shakespeare's birth in 1564 and the composition of the play in the early 1590s would have seen the deaths of the last witnesses to Richard's reign. Yet even after the extinction of memory, traces of the Yorkist era abounded in Elizabethan England - traces in the forms of material artefacts and buildings, popular traditions, textual records, and administrative and religious institutions and practices. Other traces had notoriously disappeared, not least the bodies of the princes reputedly murdered in the Tower, and the King's own body, which remained lost until its dramatic rediscovery in the summer of 2012. Shakespeare and the Remains of Richard III charts the often complex careers of these pieces of the past over the course of a century framed on one side by the historical reign of Richard III (1483-85) and on the other by Shakespeare's play. Drawing on recent work in fields including archaeology, memory studies, and material biography, this book offers a fresh approach to the cultural history of the Tudor era, as well as a fundamentally new interpretation of the wellsprings and preoccupations of Richard III. The final emphasis is not only on what Shakespeare does with the traces of Richard's reign but also on what those traces do through Shakespeare—the play, in spite of its own pessimistic assumptions about history, has become the medium whereby certain fragments and remains of a long-lost world live on into the present day.
Like most of Shakespeare’s history plays, King John presents a struggle for the English crown. The struggle this time, however, is strikingly cold-blooded and brutal.

John, the younger brother of the late Richard I, is the king, and a savage one. His opponent is a boy, his nephew Arthur, supported by the King of France and the Duke of Austria. After Arthur falls into John’s hands, John plots to torture him. Arthur’s capture gives Louis, the Dauphin of France, the opportunity to lay claim to John’s crown. John’s nobles support Louis, but he schemes to betray them.

The play finds its hero in another figure: the Bastard, Sir Richard Plantagenet, an illegitimate son of Richard I. Although he has an appetite for war, he also has a strong conscience and speaks with trenchant irony.

The authoritative edition of King John from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Deborah T. Curren-Aquino

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
"Turns A BRILLIANT LIGHT on one of the lustiest and one of the most dramatic periods of English history."—Philadelphia Inquirer

The mesmerizing story of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII, one of the rare women who matched wits successfully with the fiery king and lived to tell the tale.

Aware of the disastrous consequences of not bearing an heir, Anne of Cleves bravely took on the duty of weathering the Tudor King's temper and won the hearts of his subjects in the process.

Written by world-renowned historical novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes, My Lady of Cleves gives readers an intimate portrait of the warm, unpretentious princess who never expected to become Queen of England and how she navigated a world of high drama and courtly elegance.

A refreshing historical fiction about infamous Tudor England, fans of Philippa Gregory, Anya Seton and Bernard Cornwell will delight in this tale of Henry's fourth Queen, her secret love, her power-hungry husband, and the country that ruled them all.

Praise for My Lady of Cleves:
"At long last Anne of Cleves gets her day as a noble and highminded heroine in the lists of historical fiction!" — Chicago Tribune
"Barnes' vision of Anne is so different from others I have encountered, it was like reading her story for the first time. This is the Anne of Cleves I choose to live in my memory." —Books N Border Collies
"an appealing story of a woman who makes the best of a bad situation... it's nice to see this novel in particular being reissued." —Reading, Ranting, and Raving
"I have to say that from the moment I read the inscription, I was hooked in this book... Anne is brought to life, and is portrayed as a capable woman..." —Historical Tapestry

'Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man: we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as, I trust, shall never be put out.' Hugh Latimer's famous words of consolation to Nicholas Ridley as they are both about to be burnt alive for heresy come from John Foxe's magisterial Acts and Monuments, popularly known as the Book of Martyrs. This vast collection of unforgettable accounts of religious persecution exerted as great an influence on early modern England and New England as the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. It contains many stirring stories of the apprehension, interrogation, imprisonment, and execution of alleged heretics. The narratives not only attest to the fortitude of individuals who suffered for their faith not many years before the birth of Shakespeare, but they also constitute exciting tales filled with graphic details and verbal wit. This modernized selection also includes some of the famous woodcuts that illustrated the original text, as well as providing a comprehensive introduction to Foxe's life and times and the martyrology narrative. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.