The Play of Paradox: Stage and Sermon in Renaissance England
The Play of Paradox: Stage and Sermon in Renaissance England is a wide-ranging investigation of Tudor/Stuart drama, Reformation preaching, and the relations between the two. The cross-fertilization between the two kinds of performance engendered among audiences a ready receptivity to the rhetorical use of paradox. The two modes similarly capitalized on characteristic Renaissance syntheses of magic, drama, and religion to develop strategies for negotiating state control. In chapters that set comedies and tragedies by Shakespeare, Jonson, Webster, and others side by side with sermons by Hooker, Andrewes, Donne, and popular preachers whose works have not been reprinted since the early seventeenth century, Bryan Crockett argues that stage and pulpit performances elicited similar responses to the political and theological divisions marked by the incessant polemics of the age.
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