Frequently Auto-Approved
Reviews Published Challenge Participant

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shakespeare's Common Prayers: The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age

I found this book quite heavy reading.  I didn't read it properly - I should have read some of the plays discussed again. It's really more suitable for university students studying English Literature.

However, it was interesting reading.  I agreed with the argument that Shakespeare was heavily influenced by the Bible and the Prayer Book in some of his plays. I also agreed that there hasn't been enough discussion about this. Romeo and Juliet, for example, relies on the rites of marriage outlined in the Prayer Book.

I thought that it was difficult to relate the rite of Communion to Macbeth and I found the chapters on Macbeth so difficult to follow that I gave up. I really thought that Swift made too much of a leap here, although I could see the connections with the book of Job.  (Reading the Bible again helps as well!)  Daniel Swift does warn readers that these chapters require close and slow reading.  I may read them again when I have time.

I liked Swift's writing, especially when he related his arguments to his own experiences.

NetGalley kindly supplied this to me for review.

No comments: