Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in Seventeenth-Century English Drama

Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in Seventeenth-Century English Drama

by Adrian Streete


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This book examines the many and varied uses of apocalyptic and anti-Catholic language in seventeenth-century English drama. Adrian Streete argues that this rhetoric is not simply an expression of religious bigotry, nor is it only deployed at moments of political crisis. Rather, it is an adaptable and flexible language with national and international implications. It offers a measure of cohesion and order in a volatile century. By rethinking the relationship between theatre, theology and polemic, Streete shows how playwrights exploited these connections for a diverse range of political ends. Chapters focus on playwrights like Marston, Middleton, Massinger, Shirley, Dryden and Lee, and on a range of topics including imperialism, reason of state, commerce, prostitution, resistance, prophecy, church reform and liberty. Drawing on important recent work in religious and political history, this is a major re-interpretation of how and why religious ideas are debated in the early modern theatre.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108416146
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/17/2017
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 6.22(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Adrian Streete is Senior Lecturer in English Literature, 1500-1780 at the University of Glasgow. He works on early modern literature and religious culture, and was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write Apocalypse and Anti-Catholicism in Seventeenth-Century English Drama. He is author of Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2009), editor of Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Contexts and Readings, 1570-1625 (2012), co-editor of three other books, and author of numerous articles.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Anti-Christ and the whore in early modern England - cultures of interpretation; 2. 'What news from Babylon?' Marston's The Dutch Courtesan (1605) and the Spanish peace; 3. 'Mere idolatry'? Resistance and Rome in Middleton's The Lady's Tragedy (1610); 4. 'Occultus Rex': Caroline politics and imperial kingship in Massinger's Believe as You List (1631); 5. 'Purple Pride' - war, episcopacy, and Shirley's The Cardinal (1641); 6. 'Rebellion Orthodox' - arbitrary rule and liberty in Dryden and Lee's The Duke of Guise (1682); Conclusion.

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