Godless Shakespeare

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 15, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 144 pages
1 Review

Godless Shakespeare is the first book to discuss Shakespeare's plays from an atheist perspective. Although it is clear that Shakespeare engaged with and deployed much of his culture's broadly religious interests - his language is shot through with biblical quotations, priestly sermonizing and Christian imagery - Mallin argues that there is a profound absence of or hostility to God in his plays.

Following Dante's three part structure for The Divine Comedy - Hell represents expressions of religious faith in Shakespeare's plays, Purgatory sets out more sceptical positions, and Heaven shows articulations of godlessness - Mallin traces a spiritual ascent from the unthinkingly devout to the atheistically spiritual. This polemical, vigorous account focuses on the moral and spiritual dilemmas of major characters, developing the often subtle transitions between belief, scepticism and atheism. Finally, Godless Shakespeare argues for the liberating potential of unbelief.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rubyjand - LibraryThing

Godless Shakespeare by Eric S. Mallin. 2007. Read in April, 2008. Many have noted that Shakespeare, at least judging by his plays, was not an overly religious person. Granted, he lived in a society in ... Read full review


2   The Promise
Or Replacement Theology
4   Crackers
Part Two
5   Conspicuously Failed Christ Figures Named Antonio
6   The ProfitDriven Life
7   Moon Changes
8   Happy Suicide
Part Three
11   Aaron Ascendant
12   The Life to Come
13   Dreams of Sex and Death
14   Her Becomings
Further Reading

9   It is Required
10   A Winters Fable

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Eric S. Mallin is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He is the author of Inscribing the Time: Shakespeare and the End of Elizabethan England (Berkeley: U of California P, 1995)

Bibliographic information