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Shakespeare and SpenserAttractive Opposites$
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J. B Lethbridge

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079627

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079627.001.0001

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Pastoral Forms and Religious Reform in Spenser and Shakespeare

Pastoral Forms and Religious Reform in Spenser and Shakespeare

(p.143) Pastoral Forms and Religious Reform in Spenser and Shakespeare
Shakespeare and Spenser

Karen Nelson

Manchester University Press

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

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