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Shakespeare’s Christianity: The Protestant and Catholic Poetics of Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Macbeth

By Beatrice Batson / Baylor University Press / 2006


Print: $29.95


This volume explores the influence of Catholicism and Protestantism on a trio of Shakespeare’s tragedies: Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Bypassing the discussion of Shakespeare’s personal religious beliefs, Batson instead focuses on distinct footprints left by Catholic and Protestant traditions that underlie and inform Shakespeare’s artistic genius.

In the Noet edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Noet, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Explores the influences of Catholicism and Protestantism on Shakespeare’s tragedies
  • Discusses how Christian language and ideas important to the tragedies
  • Contains essays from Shakespearean experts


  • “Meta-drama in Hamlet and Macbeth,” by Peter Milward
  • “Explores of the Revelation: Spenser and Shakespeare,” by David Daniell
  • “The Problem of Self-Love in Shakespeare’s Tragedies and in Renaissance and Reformation Theology,” by Robert Lanier Reid
  • “‘I Could Not Say “Amen’”:Prayer and Providence in Macbeth,” by Robert S. Miola
  • Hamlet and Protestant Aural Theater,” by Grace Tiffany
  • “Providence in Julius Caesar,” by John W. Mahon
  • “Cobbling Souls in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,” Maurice Hunt

Praise for the Print Edition

The cultural air of Elizabethan England was thick with theological discourse, yet Shakespeare has often been read as if he hovered above it all in a sublime cocoon of pure art. This stimulating collection of smart essays demonstrates not only that Shakespeare was theologically informed but also that Christian language and concepts were integral to the design of his major tragedies. The formidable contributors enable us to hear lost echoes of Scripture and sermon, polemic, and Prayer Book that reverberate in nearly every scene.

Peter Leithart, adjunct senior fellow of theology, New St. Andrews College

Product Details

About Beatrice Batson

Beatrice Batson (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is professor emeritus of English at Wheaton College.