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Shakespeare and the Bible


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Table of Contents

General Note; 1. Introduction: 'Kiss the book'; 2. Postenrity and Prosperity: Genesis in The Tempest; 3. Historical Types: Moses, David, and Henry V; 4. 'Within a Foot of the Extreme Verge': The Book of Job and King Lear; 5. True Lies and False Truths: Measure for Measure and the Gospel; 6. 'Dangerous Conceits' and 'Proofs of Holy Writ': Allusion in The Merchant of Venice and Paul's Letter to the Romans; 7. A Masque of Revelation: The Tempest as Apolcaypse; Notes; Suggestions for Further Reading; Index

About the Author

Steven Marx is Professor of English at Cal Poly University in California.


`Steven Marx's contribution to the Oxford Shakespeare Topics series is admirably accessible to both students and teachers, its intended audience. Scholars will find useful insights into how Shakespeare mined scripture for characterization, theme, allusion, and even dramatic structure in six major plays.' Janet M. Spencer, Wingate University, Sixteenth Century Journal XXXII/1 `Marx's most original contribution is his discussion of The Tempest, one of Shakespeare's few plays with no known source for the main plot, in two separate chapters examining the play's relationship to Genesis and Revelation' Sixteenth Century Journal `The connection between Job and Lear has been explored in previous literature, but Marx's solid analysis of the works' shared doctrinal positions, linguistic parallels, and plot elements provides a strong example of Shakespeare's adaptations of biblical tragedy ... This book provides fresh readings that illuminate both the biblical text and the plays, works too often limited by received ideas, and suggests avenues for future study of Shakespeare's use of the Bible.' Janet M. Spencer, Wingate University, Sixteenth Century Journal XXXII/1 `'a welcome, creative exploration of Scripture's bearing on the Bard, an Elizabethan humanist who transposed biblical theology into an anthropological key.'' C. Clifton Black, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ `This informed and useful discussion of the Bible's influence upon and interpretation by Shakespeare ... offers a brief but substantial consideration of the importance of biblical knowledge to Shakespeare's greatest plays ... The series's aim, which Marx's brief book admirably achieves, is to inform and provoke, to provide close reading and critical analysis ... As such, it informs serious first-time readers of Shakespeare's plays while offering numerous avenues of further pursuit ... Marx's contribution to the Oxford series effectively achieves the series's stated aims in a lively and engaging sequence of close readings in context. Students and teachers will doubtless find much of interest here, and, indeed, every teacher of Shakespeare and of the Bible in literature would likely profit from Marx's careful and accessible observations and insights.' Catherine S. Cox, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, South Atlantic Review `exhibits the virtues that are appropriate to its genre as part of the Oxford Shakespeare Topics series. It is a beautifully organized introduction to the issues that it addresses. It is a tribute to Marx to have covered so much territory so succinctly,. Within its limited scope the book is admirably researched and provides a helpful guide to rival critical traditions on various plays and issues. Marx is a master of the apt formula, and he is at his best in finding patterns and motifs in texts.' Leland Rykin, Wheaton College, Christianity and Literature

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