Pastoral Forms and Religious Reform in Spenser and Shakespeare

Karen Nelson

in Shakespeare and Spenser

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780719079627
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701058 | DOI:
Pastoral Forms and Religious Reform in Spenser and Shakespeare

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This chapter discusses religious reform and pastoral forms in the works of Shakespeare and Spenser. It determines that, when placed beside each other, these two concepts show the complexity of representing religious debates as poesy and even reveal the ways in which these two authors play with the ‘bodies’ available to them. The chapter briefly outlines some of the reasons why pastoral poetics were available to reflect religious controversies, and then identifies some of the core religious debates and concerns in England during the 1590s. It also looks at the ways hermits and savage men ponder on conversations about the roles of religious leaders and ceremonies related to communion.

Keywords: religious reform; pastoral works; religious debates; bodies; pastoral poetics; religious controversies; communion

Chapter.  10480 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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