Nothing in Shakespeare's England was as important as religion. Questions of faith informed everything from history and politics to love and family, work and play, good and evil, suffering and sacrifice, and ultimately life and death. Every one of Shakespeare's plays is rich in allusions to the Bible, church rites including baptism, communion, marriage, and burial, and a host of religious beliefs. This Companion provides an essential grounding in early modern religious history and culture and the ideas that Shakespeare returns to throughout his career. Chapters dedicated to close-readings of individual plays or groups of plays span both the complex and variegated Christian beliefs explored in Shakespeare's work, as well as the treatment of Judaism, Islam and classical paganism. Authored by an international team of eminent scholars and featuring an Afterword by Rowan Williams, this Companion is the most comprehensive and incisive guide to the topic that students will find.
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