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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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Allusion: Theory, History, and Shakespeare's Practice

Allusion: Theory, History, and Shakespeare's Practice

Chapter:
(p.77) 3 Allusion: Theory, History, and Shakespeare's Practice
Source:
The Bible in Shakespeare
Author(s):

Hannibal Hamlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677610.003.0004

This chapter traces the history of allusion, one of the essential tropes in literature from the ancient Greeks and Hebrews to the present. Despite the prominence of allusion in literary history, it is curiously absent from the rhetorical treatises of the Greeks, the Romans, and Renaissance Europeans. Both in Latin and in English, the term “allusion” arises in the context of biblical reading. The chapter explores Shakespeare's particular practice of biblical allusion, based partly on the precedents of Marlowe and Kyd, partly on contemporary biblical exegetical practices, such as typological reading. Shakespeare alludes to the Bible in all of his plays, and he alludes to almost every biblical book. Some allusions are brief and localized, others more extended and connected to the play's larger themes and concerns, while still others interconnect in complex allusive patterns.

Keywords:   allusion, intertextuality, source study, literary theory, shakespeare, typology

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