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Shakespeare and Catholicism

The Jesuits as Cultural Mediators in Early Modern Europe

Sonja Fielitz

Though religious matters have long been part of Shakespeare criticism, they have not been the most popular ones on this agenda for a long time. In the last two decades, however, the question of Shakespeare’s personal religious belief has been re-introduced to the scene of early modern studies and vividly discussed by Shakespeare scholars all over the world. The topic has thus proved to be much more than a wave of fashion in Shakespeare studies and certainly deserves further critical investigation. For matters of space this essay must be restricted to one of the numerous questions that concern the field, i.e., the cultural and political impact which the early Jesuit mission, and here the Provincia Germaniae Superioris, had on William Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and the theatre of his time.

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Religion Revisited

William Shakespeare, Nicholas Owen, and the Culture of Doppelbödigkeit

Sonja Fielitz

This article ties in with the recent interest in Shakespeare's biography and early modern religious discourses. In the following I will try to synthesise two seemingly disparate fields, respectively personalities: I will combine William Shakespeare and his literary work and Nicholas Owen, the master-builder of Jesuit priest holes of the time. As I will propose, the tertium comparationis could be the culture of Doppelbödigkeit, and according to my knowledge this topic has not been pursued to date. What I will not do in this article in the context of Shakespeare's biography, however, is to trace further possible Catholic influences on him, 2 nor maintain that he was a Catholic.

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Sonja Fielitz, Paul Franssen, Graham Holderness, Park Honan, Reiko Oya, Robert Sawyer, Katherine Scheil, Wolfgang Weiss, and Stanley Wells

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Paul Edmondson, Sonja Fielitz, Paul J. C. M. Franssen, Marga Munkelt, Ángel-Luis Pujante, Robert Sawyer, Katherine Scheil, and Noemí Vera

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