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Hamlet's ChoiceReligion and Resistance in Shakespeare's Revenge Tragedies$
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Peter Lake

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300247817

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300247817.001.0001

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(p.179) Conclusion Pagan/Catholic/Protestant/Christian
Hamlet's Choice

Peter Lake

Yale University Press

This chapter reviews the comparison between Hamlet and Titus Andronicus. It explains how Titus operated as an exercise in natural theology and thought experiment that is set in an elaborately evoked pre-Christian Rome. It also points out how Titus sets up a revenge-based primal scene, within which the relations between revenge, religion, and resistance are examined. The chapter highlights the great confessional conflicts of the 1500s that are evoked through the annihilating religious violence, attendant discourses of martyrdom, and persecution at the heart of the action. It also compares the relationship between the plays Titus Andronicus and Richard III to Hamlet and Julius Caesar. It argues how Williams Shakespeare's plays responded to the central issues of tyranny and resistance.

Keywords:   Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, natural theology, pre-Christian Rome, revenge, resistance, confessional conflict, Richard III, Julius Caesar, Williams Shakespeare

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