Biblical References In Shakespeare's Plays

Biblical References In Shakespeare's Plays

Biblical References in Shakespeare's Plays

The hundreds of biblical references in Shakespeare's plays give ample evidence that he was well acquainted with Scripture. Not only is the range of his biblical references impressive, but also the aptness with which he makes them. Hamlet and Othello each have more than fifty biblical references. No study of Shakespeare's plays is complete that ignores Shakespeare's use of 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 thorny question of what constitutes a valid biblical reference is also discussed.

This study of Shakespeare's biblical references is not based on secondary sources. The author owned one of the world's largest collections of early English bibles, including over one hundred copies of the Geneva bible and numerous editions of other Bibles, prayer books, and books of homilies of...

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