Biblical References in Shakespeare's Plays

Front Cover
University of Delaware Press, 1999 - Drama - 879 pages
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The hundreds of biblical references in Shakespeare's plays give ample evidence that he was well acquainted with Scripture. The Bibles that Shakespeare knew, however, were not those that are in use today. By the time the King James Bible appeared in 1611, Shakespeare's career was all but over, and the Anglican liturgy that is evident in his plays is likewise one that few persons are acquainted with. This volume provides a comprehensive survey of the English Bibles of Shakespeare's day, notes their similarities and differences, and indicates which version the playwright knew best. The biblical references in each of Shakespeare's plays are then carefully analyzed, as are Shakespeare's references to the Prayer Book and the homilies. The thorny question of what constitutes a valid biblical reference is also discussed.
 

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Contents

The English Bible in Shakespeares Day
17
Shakespeare and the Anglican Liturgy
51
Criteria for a Valid Reference
67
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
79
The Taming of the Shrew
87
The Comedy of Errors
100
Loves Labors Lost
118
A Midsummer Nights Dream
143
Henry VIII
472
Titus Andronicus
497
Romeo and Juliet
510
Julius Caesar
522
Hamlet
534
Troilus and Cressida
564
Othello
580
King Lear
604

The Merchant of Venice
152
The Merry Wives of Windsor
187
Much Ado About Nothing
203
As You Like It
214
Twelfth Night
230
Measure for Measure
245
Alls Well That Ends Well
264
1 Henry VI
283
2 Henry VI
300
3 Henry VI
323
Richard III
337
Richard II
360
King John
390
1 Henry IV
407
2 Henry IV
426
Henry V
448
Macbeth
621
Antony and Cleopatra
643
Coriolanus
658
Timon of Athens
670
Pericles
683
Cymbeline
695
The Winters Tale
717
The Tempest
734
The Two Noble Kinsmen
750
Sir Thomas More
757
Index to Shakespeares Biblical References
769
References to the Book of Common Prayer
827
References to the Homilies
831
Bibliography
833
Index
871
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