Hamlet, Protestantism, and the Mourning of Contingency

Not to Be

Author: John E. Curran Jr

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317124030

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 278

View: 6872

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Building on current scholarly interest in the religious dimensions of the play, this study shows how Shakespeare uses Hamlet to comment on the Calvinistic Protestantism predominant around 1600. By considering the play's inner workings against the religious ideas of its time, John Curran explores how Shakespeare portrays in this work a completely deterministic universe in the Calvinist mode, and, Curran argues, exposes the disturbing aspects of Calvinism. By rendering a Catholic Prince Hamlet caught in a Protestant world which consistently denies him his aspirations for a noble life, Shakespeare is able in this play, his most theologically engaged, to delineate the differences between the two belief systems, but also to demonstrate the consequences of replacing the old religion so completely with the new.

Hamlet, Protestantism, and the Mourning of Contingency

Not to Be

Author: John E. Curran Jr

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317124022

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 278

View: 1067

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Building on current scholarly interest in the religious dimensions of the play, this study shows how Shakespeare uses Hamlet to comment on the Calvinistic Protestantism predominant around 1600. By considering the play's inner workings against the religious ideas of its time, John Curran explores how Shakespeare portrays in this work a completely deterministic universe in the Calvinist mode, and, Curran argues, exposes the disturbing aspects of Calvinism. By rendering a Catholic Prince Hamlet caught in a Protestant world which consistently denies him his aspirations for a noble life, Shakespeare is able in this play, his most theologically engaged, to delineate the differences between the two belief systems, but also to demonstrate the consequences of replacing the old religion so completely with the new.

Shakespeare and Renaissance Ethics

Author: Patrick Gray,John D. Cox

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 113999347X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: N.A

View: 5835

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Written by a distinguished international team of contributors, this volume explores Shakespeare's vivid depictions of moral deliberation and individual choice in light of Renaissance debates about ethics. Examining the intellectual context of Shakespeare's plays, the essays illuminate Shakespeare's engagement with the most pressing moral questions of his time, considering the competing claims of politics, Christian ethics and classical moral philosophy, as well as new perspectives on controversial topics such as conscience, prayer, revenge and suicide. Looking at Shakespeare's responses to emerging schools of thought such as Calvinism and Epicureanism, and assessing comparisons between Shakespeare and his French contemporary Montaigne, the collection addresses questions such as: when does laughter become cruel? How does style reflect moral perspective? Does shame lead to self-awareness? This book is of great interest to scholars and students of Shakespeare studies, Renaissance studies and the history of ethics.

Shakespeare's Religious Allusiveness

Its Play and Tolerance

Author: Maurice Hunt

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 9780754639541

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 148

View: 6673

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Shakespeare's Religious Allusiveness complicates debates about whether Shakespeare's plays are fundamentally Protestant or Catholic in sympathy, challenging analyses that either find Protestant elements consistently undercutting Catholic motifs or, less often, discover evidence of the playwright's endorsement of Catholic doctrine and customs. In-depth discussions of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, the Second Henriad, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, and Othello reveal how Shakespeare allusively integrates Reformation Protestant and Roman Catholic motifs and systems of thought. This book sheds new light on the playwright's knowledge of and interest in Elizabethan and Jacobean religious debates over the nature of spiritual reformation, the efficacy of merit for redemption and the operation of Providence. It will appeal not only to Shakespeare scholars but to those interested in the cultural history of the Reformation.

Deadly Thought

Hamlet and the Human Soul

Author: Jan H. Blits

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9780739102152

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 405

View: 2165

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The human soul is for pre-modern philosophers the cause of both thinking and life. This double aspect of the soul, which makes man a rational animal, expresses itself above all in human action. Deadly Thought: "Hamlet" and the Human Soul traces Hamlet's famous inability to act to his inability to hold together these twin aspects of the soul. Combining careful attention to detail and interpretive breadth, noted scholar Jan H. Blits deftly illustrates how Hamlet collapses life into thought, and moral action into stage acting, and ultimately comes to see his own life as a stage play. Hamlet, the book demonstrates, epitomizes the intellectualism of the Renaissance and the modern age it began, and so becomes tragedy's first self-conscious protagonist, signaling the end of ancient tragedy. Erudite, innovative, and lively, Deadly Thought is a ground-breaking contribution that will appeal to Shakespeare scholars, political theorists, historians of philosophy, literary theorists and anyone interested in a truly fresh interpretation of this classic work.

Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England

Author: Peter Marshall

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191542911

Category: History

Page: 356

View: 7102

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This is the first comprehensive study of one of the most important aspects of the Reformation in England: its impact on the status of the dead. Protestant reformers insisted vehemently that between heaven and hell there was no 'middle place' of purgatory where the souls of the departed could be assisted by the prayers of those still living on earth. This was no remote theological proposition, but a revolutionary doctrine affecting the lives of all sixteenth-century English people, and the ways in which their Church and society were organized. This book illuminates the (sometimes ambivalent) attitudes towards the dead to be discerned in pre-Reformation religious culture, and traces (up to about 1630) the uncertain progress of the 'reformation of the dead' attempted by Protestant authorities, as they sought both to stamp out traditional rituals and to provide the replacements acceptable in an increasingly fragmented religious world. It also provides detailed surveys of Protestant perceptions of the afterlife, of the cultural meanings of the appearance of ghosts, and of the patterns of commemoration and memory which became characteristic of post-Reformation England. Together these topics constitute an important case-study in the nature and tempo of the English Reformation as an agent of social and cultural transformation. The book speaks directly to the central concerns of current Reformation scholarship, addressing questions posed by 'revisionist' historians about the vibrancy and resilience of traditional religious culture, and by 'post-revisionists' about the penetration of reformed ideas. Dr Marshall demonstrates not only that the dead can be regarded as a significant 'marker' of religious and cultural change, but that a persistent concern with their status did a great deal to fashion the distinctive appearance of the English Reformation as a whole, and to create its peculiarities and contradictory impulses.

Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and Montaigne

Power and Subjectivity from Richard II to Hamlet

Author: Hugh Grady,Professor of English Hugh Grady

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780199257607

Category: Drama

Page: 286

View: 7165

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From 1595-1600 Shakespeare dissected the workings of political power in the four histories of the Henriad and in Hamlet in ways which were remarkably parallel - and were perhaps influenced by - the ideas of the father of modern political analysis, Niccolo Machiavelli. However, the very sameplays simultaneously explored the dynamics of self- and identity-formation under new conditions of secular modernity, in the process producing such memorable characters as Richard II, Prince Hal, Falstaff, and Hamlet. Hugh Grady argues that in analyzing modern subjectivity, Shakespeare re-producednot the ideas of Machiavelli, but those of Michel de Montaigne, that Renaissance definer of shifting identities and subjectivities and of complexly formed, sceptical knowledge. In so doing, Shakespeare in effect contributes to the theoretical debates over power and subjectivity in literary andcultural studies at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

The Pathology of the English Renaissance

Sacred Remains and Holy Ghosts

Author: Elizabeth Mazzola

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004111950

Category: History

Page: 156

View: 6999

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Challenging readings of Renaissance culture as an increasingly secular one, this work proposes instead that sacred symbols and practices still powerfully organized the English moral imagination, and that many ideas outlawed or forgotten by Protestant reformers shared a vital afterlife.

Shakespeare and Religious Change

Author: Kenneth J. E. Graham,Philip D. Collington

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 9780230213098

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 6654

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This balanced and innovative collection explores the relationship of Shakespeare's plays to the changing face of early modern religion, considering the connections between Shakespeare's theatre and the religious past, the religious identities of the present and the deep cultural changes that would shape the future of religion in the modern world.

Dynamism of Character in Shakespeare's Mature Tragedies

Author: Piotr Sadowski

Publisher: University of Delaware Press

ISBN: 9780874138467

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 327

View: 6433

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The theory considers human behavior in terms of functional equilibrium between the stable properties of the mind, independent from the pressures of the sociocultural environment and the immediate situational context. What we call "character" thus denotes an autonomous configuration of psychological elements, which remains stable despite the changing external circumstances.

Secret Shakespeare

Studies in Theatre, Religion and Resistance

Author: Richard Wilson

Publisher: Manchester University Press

ISBN: 9780719070242

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 326

View: 6753

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Includes essays on Venus and Adonis, A midsummer night's dream, Othello, Macbeth, The tempest, Cardenio, and King Lear.

William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Chelsea House

ISBN: N.A

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 211

View: 2374

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Presents critical essays that discuss the language, characters, plot, and major themes of the tragedy.

The Masks of Hamlet

Author: Marvin Rosenberg

Publisher: University of Delaware Press

ISBN: 9780874134803

Category: Drama

Page: 971

View: 1813

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Hamlet's challenge: "You would pluck out the heart of my mystery - " Yes, we would. If we could. We can but try; and the best way to begin, this book suggests, is to share what distinguished actors, scholars, and critics have gleaned; and thus enriched by their experience forage in the text and come to know the play personally, intimately. Again and again Mr. Rosenberg will insist that only the individual reader or actor can determine Shakespeare's design of Hamlet's character - and of the play. More, the reader, to interpret Hamlet's words and actions at the many crises, needs to double in the role of actor, imagining the character from the inside as well as observing it from the outside. So every reader is deputed by the author to be an actor-reader, invited to participate within Hamlet's mystery. The critical moments are examined, the options and ambiguities discussed, and the decisions left to individual judgment and intuition. The mysteries of other major characters are similarly approached. What terrible sin haunts Gertrude, that she never confesses? What agonies hide behind Claudius' smile? Does Ophelia truly love Hamlet? Does she choose madness? What are Polonius' masked motives, as in using his daughter for bait for Hamlet? With how much effort must Laertes repress the conscience that finally torments him? Only the actor-reader can know. And the mystery of the play itself: by what magic did Shakespeare interweave poetic language, character, and stage action to create a drama that for centuries has absorbed the attention and admiration of readers and theatre audiences on every continent in the world? The reader-actor will find out. To prepare the actor-reader for insights, Mr. Rosenberg draws on major interpretations of the play worldwide, in theatre and in criticism, wherever possible from the first known performances to the present day. He discusses evidences of Hamlet's experience in Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South America, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia. Theatres from a number of these countries provided the author with videotapes of their Hamlet performances; his study of these, and of films and recordings, and of a number of modern stagings in America and abroad, deepened his sense of the play, as did interviews with actors and directors, and insights sent to him by colleagues and friends from throughout the world. Mr. Rosenberg followed one Hamlet production through rehearsals to performance, for personal experience of the staging of the play he discusses, as he did in his earlier books, The Masks of Othello, The Masks of King Lear, and The Masks of Macbeth . And as with the latter two studies, he came upon further illuminations of Shakespeare's art by exposing Hamlet to "naive" spectators who had never read or seen the play.

The Anti-Christ's Lewd Hat

Protestants, Papists and Players in Post-Reformation England

Author: Peter Lake,Michael C. Questier

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300088847

Category: History

Page: 731

View: 969

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"The book takes us not merely to the print shops, book stalls and theatres, but also to the pulpits, prisons and executions of post-reformation England. The deployment of these gory tales to attract paying audiences in theatres, and customers for pamphlets, was matched by their exploitation by clerics to attract the same broad congregation. While the godly attacked the depravity of Grub Street and of the theatre, the press and the stage retaliated by the use of anti-puritan stereotypes and stories."--BOOK JACKET.

Shakespeare and the Reason

A Study of the Tragedies and the Problem Plays

Author: Terence Hawkes

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415353229

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 206

View: 4127

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'Mr Hawkes is a good critic, oriented towards history of ideas. He operates on the formula that Shakespeare was interested in the available distinctions between discursive and intuitive reason, and disliked a growing tendency for the first to be thought of as manly and the second effeminate. One sees how this action-contemplation polarity works, in Hamlet for instance, and Mr Hawkes thinks the kind of choices forced on tragic heroes can be better understood in terms of it.' Frank Kermode, New Statesman. In the seven plays on which the book concentrates, Terence Hawkes finds Shakespeare investigating the operation of two opposed forms of reason, and constructing dramatic metaphors such as the opposition between appearance and reality, or that between true 'manliness' and its false counterpart, which express to the full the tragic nature of the situation.

The Time is Out of Joint

Skepticism in Shakespeare's England

Author: Benjamin Bertram

Publisher: University of Delaware Press

ISBN: 9780874138856

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 8820

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The final decades of the sixteenth century brought tumultuous change in England. Bitter disputes concerning religious reformation divided Catholics and Protestants, radical reformers, and religious conservatives. The Church of England won the loyalty of many, but religious and political dissent continued. Social and economic change also created anxiety as social mobility, unemployment, riots, and rebellions exposed the weakness of an ideology of order. The Time is Out of Joint situates the work of four skeptics - Reginald Scot, Thomas Harriot, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare - within the context of religious and social change. These four writers responded to the dislocations of the newly formed Protestant nation by raising bold and often disturbing questions about religion and epistemology. The historical topics covered in this book - witchcraft debates, New World discovery, economic struggle, and religious reformation - reveal the diverse contexts in which skepticism appeared and the many contributions skepticism made to a nation undergoing radical change and in the process of re-thinking many of its longstanding basic assumptions.