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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: Shakespeare and the Bible
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0693  Tuesday, 28 July 1998.

[1]     From:   Hannibal Hamlin <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jul 1998 12:51:50 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible

[2]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jul 1998 12:18:53 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible

[3]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jul 1998 10:31:21 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0690  Re: Shakespeare & Bible

[4]     From:   Michael Friedman <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jul 1998 17:01:21 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible

[5]     From:   Lila Geller <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jul 1998 04:58:50 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hannibal Hamlin <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jul 1998 12:51:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible

> Does anyone know of a collection of Shakespeare's quotes and references
> from the Bible?
>
> I know he was familiar with the Geneva Bible  - but surely he was also
> familiar with the King James version (published in one compilation in
> 1611, I think).

The standard older reference, still useful, is Richmond Noble's
"Shakespeare's Biblical Knowledge."  More recent are several books on
Biblical references in Shakespeare by Naseeb Shaheen (one each on the
Tragedies, Histories, and Comedies).  Shaheen also has essays on which
versions Shakespeare used.  All of these volumes are indexed by both the
location in Shakespeare and Biblical chapter and verse, though the
question of distinguishing quotations, references, allusions, echoes and
such is more problematic than either of these authors suggests.  You are
right that he usually alludes/refers to the Geneva Bible, but there seem
to be other translations in his ear from time to time (the Bishops
Bible, for instance, or the Coverdale psalms of the Book of Common
Prayer).  The influence of the King James version, though it was
published in 1611, comes only much later-really only from Milton on.
David Norton's "History of the Bible as Literature"  deals with the
early literary reception of the King James translation, which seems to
have been surprisingly cold given its current "classic" status.

Hope this is helpful,
Hannibal Hamlin
Renaissance Studies
Yale

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jul 1998 12:18:53 -0500
Subject: 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible

The best resource for Biblical allusions in Shakespeare is Naseeb
Shaheen's ongoing series of books -- *Biblical Allusions in
Shakespeare's Tragedies*, *Biblical Allusions in Shakespeare's
Comedies*, and *Biblical Allusions in Shakespeare's Histories*.  (I
think those are the titles, though it may be *Biblical References*
instead.)  Shaheen has not yet covered the Romances or the nondramatic
poetry, but I gather he's working on it.  These books go through each
play, identifying and discussing definite and possible allusions to
Biblical passages and ideas.  Each book also has an index so you can see
if any particular Biblical verse is discussed.

If Shakespeare was familiar with the King James Bible, it would have
only showed up in his very latest works.  I can't think offhand of any
examples of allusions which must be to the KJV as opposed to some
earlier version, and I don't think Shaheen's books give any examples,
since he hasn't yet covered the late plays.

Dave Kathman

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[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jul 1998 10:31:21 -0700
Subject: 9.0690  Re: Shakespeare & Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0690  Re: Shakespeare & Bible

I forwarded the request for the Shakespeare references to the Bible to a
number of acquaintances knowledgeable about the Bible, and received this
reply:

>From: "peter mcglothin" <
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>Subject: Re: cslist Shakespeare & Bible
>Date: Monday, 27 Jul 1998 09:46:39 PDT

>There is another book published in 1968 (probably a reprint) by William
>Burgess, "The Bible and Shakespeare".  It may be what you are looking
>for.  The publisher is Haskell House Publications.  However, it is out
>of print.
>
>Peter

Peter also suggested the Shakespeare concordance, but it of course is
not a separate compilation.

Sincerely,
Nancy Charlton
http://www.solution2000.net/pages/10301

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jul 1998 17:01:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible

You might want to check out two books by Naseeb Shaheen.  I believe they
are called *Biblical References in Shakespeare's Comedies* and *Biblical
References in Shakespeare's Tragedies*.

        Michael Friedman
        University of Scranton

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lila Geller <
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Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jul 1998 04:58:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0692  Shakespeare and the Bible

Naseeb Shaheen has a series of three volumes on Shakespeare's use of
scripture, one for each of the major genres.  Lila Geller
 

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