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Margaret Christian

35 2 Allegorical reading in occasional Elizabethan liturgies An occasional liturgy is a service of prayers and Bible readings responding to a specific occasion – a local or national emergency like an earthquake, epidemic, or threatened invasion, or a national celebration like the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. In order to appreciate how occasional liturgies relate to The Faerie Queene, it will be helpful to recall the biblical structure of the liturgy that Spenser’s original readers regularly heard in church and were encouraged to use

in Spenserian allegory and Elizabethan biblical exegesis
James Doelman

. While this church leaned towards non-conformity, it also reflected a range of positions: Scott used the Prayer Book service, while his successor Elborough did not. 102 Those associated with the English military presence were more inclined to the English liturgy; English civilians and Scots were more non-conformist. These latter groups were also more closely connected to the ways of their Dutch hosts, and some of them had

in The daring muse of the early Stuart funeral elegy
Steve Sohmer

heaven or hell. 16 Marking the anniversary of a loved one’s death, perhaps first commended to early Christians by Tertullian (AD 211), remained then as now a rite of respect for the deceased and a salutary exercise for the living. This tradition of annual commemorations, commonplace in early Tudor England, may have lost its standing in the liturgy but remained bright in living

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Framing biblical emotions in the Book of Common Prayer and the Homilies
David Bagchi

almost as uniform as the liturgy. 22 Every minister without a licence to preach was bound to read one of the homilies every Sunday. Bishops who were especially conscientious – or especially distrustful of their clergy – sometimes required even licensed ministers to use the Homilies as a matter of course. 23 Deviation from the script was

in The Renaissance of emotion
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Shakespeare rewrites the Holy Ghost
Steve Sohmer

sophisticated tactics of subversion relied on rubrics of the Elizabethan liturgy which rigidly linked verses of the Old and New Testament with particular dates in the calendar. How many individuals obeyed these rubrics is a matter of speculation. But historians accept that large numbers of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, even those illiterate, committed to memory whole books of the Bible or even entire Testaments

in Shakespeare for the wiser sort
A context for The Faerie Queene

Edmund Spenser and the first readers of The Faerie Queene routinely heard their national concerns—epidemics, political plotting, recent Tudor history—discussed in biblical terms. This book samples contemporary sermons, homilies, and liturgies to demonstrate that religious rhetoric, with its routine use of biblical types (for Elizabeth, the Spanish threat, and Mary Stuart, among many others) trained Spenser’s original readers to understand The Faerie Queene’s allegorical method. Accordingly, the first three chapters orient the reader to allegorical and typological reading in biblical commentary, occasional liturgies, and sermons. This pulpit literature illuminates many episodes and characters within the poem, and subsequent chapters discuss some of these. For instance, the genealogies Guyon and Arthur discover in Book Two parallel sermon lists of Elizabeth’s kingly forebears as well as biblical commentary on the genealogies provided for Jesus in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Florimell’s adventures in Books Three and Four, like contemporary marriage sermons, develop an allegory of the superiority of marriage over the single state. Likewise, the preachers’ treatment of the Northern Rebellion and the threat posed by Mary Stuart show biblical typology in the service of nationalism, much as the allegory of Book Six finds a way to celebrate Elizabeth’s execution of her cousin. In these cases, as in the Souldan episode, Book Six’s analysis of courtesy, and the Mutability Cantos, Elizabethan religious rhetoric lends support to traditional readings of the poem, indicating that Spenser’s original readers probably found The Faerie Queene less conflicted and subversive than many do today.

Solving Shakespeare’s riddles in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, King John, 1–2 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth and Cymberline
Author: Steve Sohmer

Knowing William Shakespeare better, we are better equipped to know his plays. Better knowing his plays brings us closer to knowing him. This book suggests that Shakespeare wrote not only for the mass audience, but simultaneously for that stratum of cognoscenti whom Gabriel Harvey dubbed 'the wiser sort.' It identifies many passages in the plays which Shakespeare resolves famous cruces which scholars have never been able to unravel, and casts new light on Shakespeare's mind and method. Shakespeare wrote into Julius Caesar more than one passage intelligible only to that handful of the wiser sort who had read Plutarch and knew their Suetonius. Into Macbeth Shakespeare injected a detail accessible only to the few intrepid souls brave or reckless enough to have cast the horoscope of King James I. We find a poem in Hamlet, where the prince invites his love and bandies matters of cosmology which were burning issues (literally) throughout Shakespeare's lifetime. While Julius Caesar's old Julian calendar prevailed in England its rival, the scientifically correct Gregorian reformed calendar, dominated most of Europe. Shakespeare suffused his plays with references to calendrical anomalies, as seen in Othello. By relating Shakespeare's texts, the Renaissance calendars and the liturgy, the book produces a lexicon apt for parsing the time-riddles in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare handled religious subjects, examined and interrogated the dogmas of the received religions, and parodied the Crucifixion by exploiting Holinshed's account of the persecution and assassination of York.

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A context for The Faerie Queene
Margaret Christian

1 Introduction: a context for The Faerie Queen Spenser characterized The Faerie Queene as “an historicall fiction” created to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.” He explained his work to his friend Walter Raleigh as an alternative to “good discipline deliuered plainly in way of precepts, or sermoned at large” – an alternative, that is, to religious rhetoric like liturgies, homilies, and sermons.1 Spenser admitted that his method of “clowdily enwrap[ing]” his teaching “in Allegorical deuises” “will seeme displeasaunt” to some

in Spenserian allegory and Elizabethan biblical exegesis
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Peter Holbrook

explore, stimulate and even honour the passions. 5 And we must not overlook the vehement emotion of much religious culture, both Catholic and Protestant, at this time (something sermons and liturgy were designed simultaneously to promote and control, as David Bagchi shows in Chapter 2 ). 6 Yet for the most part, it seems to me, there remains something exterior, scripted

in The Renaissance of emotion
Margret Fetzer

: 20). The relatedness of Donne’s sermons to the theatre was a consequence of the liturgical shifts that were still taking place in the aftermath of the Reformation: ‘the Reformation insistence on the centrality of the spoken word reintroduced an element of theater into the liturgy – albeit theater of a different order from the theatricality of which the medieval liturgy stood accused’ (Crockett, 1995: 6). The preacher’s persona functions ‘in Christ’s stead’, meaning that he is importantly associated with Jesus, who was both God and man. Christ’s passion features

in John Donne’s Performances