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    Shakespeare's Common Prayers: The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age (Hardback) By (author) Daniel Swift

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    DescriptionShakespeare's Common Prayers revolves around Shakespeare's great overlooked source: the Book of Common Prayer, first published in 1549, whose appearance established Protestantism as the compulsory belief of the day. Written in a simple vernacular and incorporating familiar Catholic rituals, the book laid out the proper performance of church rites and services. And yet it was also highly disputed and constantly in flux; as Daniel Swift shows, the prayer book's history is one of passionately contested revision and of manic sensitivity to a verb or a turn of phrase. In the book's ambiguities and fierce contestations, Swift argues, William Shakespeare found the ready elements of drama: dispute over words and their practical consequences, hope for sanctification tempered by fear of simple meaninglessness, and the demand for improvised performance as a compensation for the failure of language to do what it appears to promise. Swift offers a study of Shakespeare at work: of his imagination at play upon a set of literary materials from which he both borrowed and learned, of his manipulation of the explosive chemistry of word and action that comprised early modern liturgy. Swift argues that the Book of Common Prayer mediates between the secular and the devotional, producing a tension that helps make Shakespeare's plays so powerful and exceptional. Tracing the prayer book's lines and motions through As You Like It, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Othello, and particularly Macbeth, Swift redirects scholarly attention to the religious heart of Shakespeare's work and time.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Shakespeare's Common Prayers

    Shakespeare's Common Prayers
    The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Daniel Swift
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 304
    Width: 150 mm
    Height: 216 mm
    Thickness: 25 mm
    Weight: 440 g
    ISBN 13: 9780199838561
    ISBN 10: 0199838569

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T3.7
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC language qualifier (language as subject) V2: 2AB
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3JB
    BIC E4L: LIT
    BIC subject category V2: DSBD
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBKE
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET030
    Ingram Theme: CULT/BRITIS
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: TP028
    Ingram Theme: RELI/CHRIST
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HRCL1
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 04
    DC22: 822.33
    BIC subject category V2: DSGS
    BISAC V2.8: HIS015000, LIT004120
    Ingram Subject Code: RP
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 822.3/3
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15450
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T General Subject: 495
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 35
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LIT015000
    BIC subject category V2: 2AB, 1DBKE, 3JB
    LC subject heading: , , , , ,
    BISAC V2.8: REL052010
    DC23: 822.33
    LC classification: PR3011 .S95 2013
    Thema V1.0: QRM, DSG, DSBD, DSBC, QRVJ2
    Illustrations note
    1 map, facsim.
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    22 November 2012
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Daniel Swift is Senior Lecturer for English at the New College of the Humanities. His first book, Bomber County: The Poetry of a Lost Pilot's War was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the Samuel Johnson Prize.
    Review quote
    In Shakespeare's Common Prayers, Daniel Swift demonstrates the influence of the Book of Common Prayer on the Elizabethan stage, and renders a potentially arcane subject unexpectedly compelling. Wynn Wheldon, The Spectator Swift proves himself a perceptive, lyrical and engaging reader. Alison Shell, Times Literary Supplement Compellingly original, beautifully written, judiciously argued, completely in command of both literary and historical sources, this is one of the best books on Shakespeare in recent years. Jonathan Bate, The Spectator [A] lively book... The seriousness with which Swift explores the significance of the debates surrounding the rites of birth, marriage and death in Elizabethan England is a welcome corrective to the work of so many modern scholars who find it difficult to inhabit the God-fearers mind. Rt Revd Richard Chartres, The Church Times Groundbreaking, historically informed, elegantly written, and invaluable for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of Shakespeare and religion in Elizabethan England. James Shapiro, author of 1599 and Contested Will This is an engaging and accessible book which studies the importance of the Book of Common Prayer as a source for Shakespeare. ... Swift's prose is deft, poised and disarmingly ready to question its own methodology. ... does an excellent service in reinvigorating the Prayer Book as a critical subject for Shakespeare studies. Beatrice Groves, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
    Table of contents
    Prologue: A Revel with the Puritans ; Chapter 1: The only book in the world ; Part 1: The form of solemnization of Matrimony ; Chapter 2: For better, for worse ; Chapter 3: Till death us depart ; Part 2: The order for the administration of the Lord's Supper, or holy Communion ; Chapter 4: The Quick and the Dead ; Chapter 5: A gap in our great feast ; Part 3: The ministration of Baptism to be used in the Church ; Chapter 6: Graceless Sacraments ; Chapter 7: Above all Humane Power ; Epilogue: Five or Six Words