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Believing in Shakespeare
Studies in Longing


  • Date Published: April 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108422246

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • This ground breaking and accessible study explores the connections between the English Reformation's impact on the belief in eternal salvation and how it affected ways of believing in the plays of Shakespeare. Claire McEachern examines the new and better faith that Protestantism imagined for itself, a faith in which scepticism did not erode belief, but worked to substantiate it in ways that were both affectively positive and empirically positivist. Concluding with in-depth readings of Richard II, King Lear and The Tempest, the book represents a markedly fresh intervention in the topic of Shakespeare and religion. With great originality, McEachern argues that the English reception of the Calvinist imperative to 'know with' God allowed the very nature of literary involvement to change, transforming feeling for a character into feeling with one.

    • Explores how belief was understood to operate in early modern England and not simply to study what those beliefs were
    • Offers a study of the relations between believing in a Shakespeare play and believing in salvation
    • Delivers a new approach to the study of dramatic irony and suspense in the plays of Shakespeare
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108422246
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. An apology for belief
    2. An anatomy of believing
    3. Feeling your knowledge 4. Genre, or the tipping point
    5. Person 6. Plot – or, the promised end
    7. Place

  • Author

    Claire McEachern, University of California, Los Angeles
    Claire McEachern is Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of The Poetics of English Nationhood, 1590–1612 (Cambridge, 1996); and editor of eight of Shakespeare's plays including the Arden 3 Much Ado About Nothing (2015). Her essay collections include the Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, 2nd edition (Cambridge, 2015), and, with Debora Shuger, Religion and Culture in the English Renaissance (Cambridge, 1997).

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