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Shakespeare's Romances and the Politics of Counter-reformation

Renaissance Studies S. No. 3

By (author) Thomas Rist
Foreword by Stanley Wells
Format: Hardback
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd, New York, United States
Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Published: 31st Jul 1999
Dimensions: w 165mm h 230mm d 25mm
Weight: 567g
ISBN-10: 0773480331
ISBN-13: 9780773480339
Barcode No: 9780773480339
This is an historical study of the four Shakespearean late plays: "Pericles", "Cymbeline", "Winter's Tale" and "The Tempest". The introduction argues for a correct application of historicism in the fields of literary criticism. As a preliminary to discussion of the romances, it then considers the state of religion in England in the wake of the so-called "Elizabeth settlements"; the possibilities for religious expression in the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, and - still with particular regard to religious topics - the relationship of the romances to their sources. The major chapters illustrate the play's relationships to, and discourses on Passion literature, Jesuit meditation, philosophical scepticism and magic. In each case the romances are seen to present a Roman Catholic, and thus counter-Reformationary position. The study concludes by comparing Shakespeare's presentation of the four principal topics in the romances with the less consistent treatment they receive in his earlier works.

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