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Synopsis

Offering fuller understandings of both dramatic representations and the complexities of religious culture, this collection reveals the ways in which religion and performance were inextricably linked in early modern England. Its readings extend beyond the interpretation of straightforward religious allusions and suggest new avenues for theorizing the dynamic relationship between religious representations and dramatic ones. By addressing the particular ways in which commercial drama adapted the sensory aspects of religious experience to its own symbolic systems, the volume enacts a methodological shift towards a more nuanced semiotics of theatrical performance.

Covering plays by a wide range of dramatists, including Shakespeare, individual essays explore the material conditions of performance, the intricate resonances between dramatic performance and religious ceremonies, and the multiple valences of religious references in early modern plays. Additionally, Religion and Drama in Early Modern England reveals the theater's broad interpretation of post-Reformation Christian practice, as well as its engagement with the religions of Islam, Judaism and paganism.

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