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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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Damnable Iteration: Falstaff, Master of Biblical Allusion

Damnable Iteration: Falstaff, Master of Biblical Allusion

(p.231) 6 Damnable Iteration: Falstaff, Master of Biblical Allusion
The Bible in Shakespeare

Hannibal Hamlin

Oxford University Press

The character Falstaff appears in two history plays and a comedy: Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Which allusions does Falstaff make consciously and which unconsciously (or which are diegetic versus non-diegetic, to borrow a useful film-criticism term)? Which are serious and which parodic or even blasphemous? What effect does this have on the audience's response to the Bible-quoting character? Do these factors vary between the genres of history and comedy? This chapter explores these questions as well as the debate about whether the “Falstaff” of these plays is really the same character

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Falstaff, allusion, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Marprelate, Puritanism, Thomas Nashe

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