Unsettled Toleration: Religious Difference on the Shakespearean Stage

Hardcover | April 23, 2016

byBrian Walsh

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Unsettled Toleration: Religious Difference on the Shakespearean Stage historicizes and scrutinizes the unstable concept of toleration as it emerges in drama performed on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stages. Brian Walsh examines plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries that representintra-Christian conflict between mainstream believers and various minorities, analyzing the sometimes explicit, sometimes indirect, occasionally smooth, but more often halting and equivocal forms of dealing with difference that these plays imagine can result from such exchanges. Through innovativeand in some cases unprecedented readings of a diverse collection of plays, from Chapman's An Humorous Day's Mirth, Middleton'sThe Puritan Widow, Shakespeare'sTwelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and Pericles, and Rowley'sWhen You See Me You Know Me, Walsh shows how the English stage in the firstdecade of the seventeenth century, as a social barometer, registered the basic condition of religious "unsettlement" of the post-Reformation era; and concurrently that the stage, as a social incubator, brooded over imagined scenarios of confessional conflict that could end variously in irresolution,accommodation, or even religious syncretism. It thus helped to create, sustain and enlarge an open-ended public conversation on the vicissitudes of getting along in a sectarian world. Attending to this conversation is vital to our present understanding of the state of religious toleration the earlymodern period, for it gives a fuller picture of the ways religious difference was experienced than the limited and inert pronouncements on the topic that officials of the church and state offered.

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Unsettled Toleration: Religious Difference on the Shakespearean Stage historicizes and scrutinizes the unstable concept of toleration as it emerges in drama performed on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stages. Brian Walsh examines plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries that representintra-Christian conflict between mainstream believ...

Brian Walsh has taught at Rutgers, the University of Illinois, and Yale University. He is the author of Shakespeare, The Queen's Men, and The Elizabethan Performance of History (Cambridge University Press, 2009) as well as several articles and book chapters on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. He has also edited a collection of essays o...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pagesPublished:April 23, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198754434

ISBN - 13:9780198754435

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Turn to Toleration on the Early Modern Stage1. De Facto Pluralism, Toleration, and The Massacre at Paris2. Happy (Enough) Endings: Puritans and Everyday Ecumenicity in Early Modern City Come3. "O Just But Severe Law!": Weighing Puritanism in Twelfth Nightand Measure for Measure4. Rowley and the Lutherans: Reformation Histories and Religious Identities in When You See Me You Know Me5. 'A Priestly Farewell': The Catholic and the Reformed inPericlesConclusion: "Private Spleene" and "Pious Zeale": The Vicissitudes of Toleration