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The Bible in Shakespeare$
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Hannibal Hamlin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677610

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677610.001.0001

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A Critical History of the Bible in Shakespeare

A Critical History of the Bible in Shakespeare

Chapter:
(p.43) 2 A Critical History of the Bible in Shakespeare
Source:
The Bible in Shakespeare
Author(s):

Hannibal Hamlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677610.003.0003

The study of Shakespeare and the Bible has a history stretching back at least into the nineteenth century. Its origins lie in the parallel developments of post-Jubilee bardolatry and the virtual idolatry of the King James or Authorized Version of the Bible. Shakespeare's works and the English Bible were felt to be the twin pillars of British culture, celebrated at home and exported to British colonies around the world. This chapter describes the long history of writing about Shakespeare and the Bible, from Victorian volumes of Shakespearian and biblical extracts, to later catalogues of biblical references or allusions, to moralizing neo-Christian interpretations, to the more nuanced criticism of recent scholars. One of the odder Shakespeare myths is that he himself had a hand in translating the King James Bible. This is a nonsensical idea, but it has a long and peculiar history.

Keywords:   Bible, Shakespeare, bardolatry, Victorian, Bible as literature, History Of Criticism

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