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John Drakakis

hope of amendment, God still tendering his owne workmanshippe, stirring up his faithfull and elect, to perswade with reason all men to societie. And gaue his appointed Ministers knowledge both to see the natures of men, and also graunted them the gift of utteraunce, that they might with ease win folke at their will, and frame them by reason to all good order.’ See also Adrian Streete, Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2009 ), p. 129, and also Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in

in Shakespeare’s resources
John Drakakis

theological continuities and commonalities would rightly point out that neither grace nor predestination are unprecedented ideas in Christian theology and that what we often view as a dramatic change from Catholicism to Protestantism might be more like a shift in weight from one theological foot to another (that the shift was disseminated through print may have been the real game-changer).’ I am grateful to Professor Adrian Streete of the University of Glasgow for drawing my attention to McEachern’s book

in Shakespeare’s resources
Richard II, Mary Stuart and the poetics of queenship
Alison Findlay

, however, far from the clear celebratory picture offered by the Jesuit martyr. Perhaps as a result of Shakespeare’s own turbulent relationship with forms of Catholicism, it is deeply ambivalent. It was, of course, Elizabeth I rather than Mary Stuart who proclaimed ‘I am Richard II, Know ye not that’. 8 Through a cross-gendered representation, Shakespeare’s play explores

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories

Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power.

This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.

Holy Sonnet ‘This is my Playes last Scene’
Angelika Zirker

Donne’s Holy Sonnet ‘This is my Playes last Scene’ opens with an allusion to the stage, the ‘last scene’ of the play that is the speaker’s life in the theatrum mundi. The perspective of life as a stage is merged with the inner stages on which the separate parts of the speaker appear in a manner reminiscent of medieval allegorical plays. The speaker reflects on death and the separation of body and soul – but adds a third element to his self and this separation: his sins. All will go to their place of origin eventually, which allows the speaker to hope for his redemption. The chapter also shows how, in the final couplet, Donne avoids making a denominational statement about the imputation to righteousness that can be unequivocally attributed to Catholicism or Protestantism but rather uses ambiguity to reflect on the dependence of human beings on the grace of God. He thus prepares the happy ending of the speaker’s play in a double discourse: by talking about the event of death and what happens after dying, the speaker links religious and dogmatic terms with reflections on drama.

in William Shakespeare and John Donne
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Protestant readings of the Whore of Babylon in early modern England, c.1580–1625
Victoria Brownlee

through the work of John Bale, John Foxe and Heinrich Bullinger. 3 Read by some as the Pope, and by others as the Roman Catholic Church, Revelation’s ‘great Whore’ (Rev. 17:1) became a recognisable symbol of Catholicism among Protestants across post-Reformation Europe. Indeed, so pervasive was the Whore’s visual and ideological presence in this period that Alison Shell deems it

in Biblical women in early modern literary culture 1550–1700
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Ben Jonson’s admiration for Southwell’s ‘burning Babe’
Anne Sweeney

down her vision of Christ, could be an exemplar for Southwell’s mother Bridget (Copley), an educated gentlewoman attendant on Queen Elizabeth. 6 The Catholicism of his mother, which, like that of a large part of the English population, persisted despite increasingly harsh attempts by the Elizabethan administration to suppress it, must have existed somewhat uncomfortably in the house built on

in Robert Southwell
James Doelman

least consider) a temporary heresy prompted by powerful sorrow at the death of another. In other cases, the poet suggests a threat to the broader community of mourning or even a distant community – at times these become something closer to mock-Catholicism. This chapter takes its bearings in part from a number of other scholars who have explored the implications of the Reformation for

in The daring muse of the early Stuart funeral elegy
England’s altered confidence
Anne Sweeney

could call down God’s mercy and grace by prayer and by independent intercession. Christianity had evolved, and the superstitious days were gone; the services of the angels were no longer required. Catholicism, by this view, was a pre-Incarnation belief that had failed to develop alongside man’s understanding of things. In the metaphysical universe of the Reformed Church the skies no longer thronged with

in Robert Southwell
Into England
Anne Sweeney

medieval Magdalen that Southwell left aside in favour of the warm lover; the other boasts a constant heart, but in rational tones inimical to Southwell’s passionate personation. His poetic vision seems to sit oddly alongside this more official literary version, as if he had learned to utter his Catholicism in a slightly different language. NEEDING A NEW SORT OF ENGLISH There is no

in Robert Southwell