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Shakespeare’s Universal WolfStudies in Early Modern Reification$
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Hugh Grady

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198130048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198130048.001.0001

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‘An Universal Wolf’: Reification in Early and Late Modernity

‘An Universal Wolf’: Reification in Early and Late Modernity

(p.26) 1 ‘An Universal Wolf’: Reification in Early and Late Modernity
Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf

Hugh Grady

Oxford University Press

On the London stages of Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, a major theme emerged: exploration of the possibilities of a completely secular, desacralized culture. Of course, the culture of Renaissance England was permeated with religious beliefs, even though the London stage was secular and commercial, far different in tone and spirit from the explicitly religious drama still produced elsewhere well into the sixteenth century. And these obvious and established fac tend to cancel each other rather than solve a critical debate which goes back at least to the nineteenth century: a debate over an implied or assumed religiosity within the secular drama of the English Renaissance. This chapter examines reification in early and late modernity, the relationship between theatre and religion, secularism, Renaissance reification in contemporary literary criticism, French structuralism/post-structuralism, and Frankfurt School Critical Theory.

Keywords:   Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Renaissance England, religion, theatre, secularism, reification, French structuralism

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