Shakespeare's Religious Language: A Dictionary
Religious issues and religious discourse were vastly important in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and religious language is key to an understanding of Shakespeare's plays and poems. This dictionary discusses just over 1000 words and names in Shakespeare's works that have some religious denotation or connotation. Its unique word-by-word approach allows equal consideration of the full religious nuance of each of these words, from 'abbess' to 'zeal'. It also gradually reveals the persistence, the variety, and the sophistication of Shakespeare's religious usage.
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19 , ' for dust thou art , and unto dust shalt thou return ' , and Gen . 2 . 7 , ' And the
Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground , and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life ' . Job 10 . 9 reads , “ Thou hast made me as the clay ' , and Isa .
Shakespeare suggests in both of these light but pointed cases the difficulty
among even the best of his characters to obey Christ ' s injunction about charity
and humility : ' Whosoever shall say , Thou fool , shall be in danger of hell fire ' (
Christ preaches from the Mount , ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart , and with all thy soul , and with all thy mind . This is the first and great
commandment . And the second is like unto it , Thou shalt love thy neighbour as