Shakespeare and Marlowe

Thomas Healy

in The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544486
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780198614128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Shakespeare and Marlowe

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Religious Studies
  • Christianity


Show Summary Details


Theology infuses the plays and poems of Shakespeare and Marlowe. The questions are, what theology, and is there any consistency in its employment? Some contemporaries or near contemporaries showed unease over what were perceived as unorthodox religious positions in both of the dramatists' plays. Three issues notably complicate attempts to explore religion with Shakespeare and Marlowe. First, the understanding of the complexities surrounding the nature of both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in England at the end of the sixteenth century is still far from secure. Second, English drama as a literary genre in the late sixteenth century departed from being part of its society's wider religious observances, as it had been in the Middle Ages. Third, and in some respects most significant, Renaissance drama is designed as performed language. This makes these playwrights something of an anomaly in this section called ‘theological ways of reading literature’.

Keywords: theology; Jew of Malta; unorthodox religion; Protestantism; Roman Catholicism; Renaissance drama

Article.  7412 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.