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Author Jackson, Kenneth S., 1965-

Title Shakespeare and Abraham / Ken Jackson
Published Notre Dame : University of Notre Dame Press, 2015
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Description 1 online resource
Contents Acknowledgments; Preface; Introduction; Chapter 1: The Wakefield Cycle Play and the Interpretive Tradition; Chapter 2: Weak Sovereignty and Genesis 22 in 3 Henry VI and King John; Chapter 3: Richard II; Chapter 4: Titus Andronicus; Chapter 5: The Merchant of Venice; Chapter 6: Timon of Athens; Notes; Index
Summary "In Shakespeare and Abraham, Ken Jackson illuminates William Shakespeare's dramatic fascination with the story of Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Isaac in Genesis 22. Themes of child killing fill Shakespeare's early plays: Genesis 22 informed Clifford's attack on young Rutland in 3 Henry 6, Hubert's providentially thwarted murder of Arthur in King John, and Aaron the Moor's surprising decision to spare his son amidst the filial slaughters of Titus Andronicus, among others. However, the playwright's full engagement with the biblical narrative does not manifest itself exclusively in scenes involving the sacrifice of children or in verbal borrowings from the famously sparse story of Abraham. Jackson argues that the most important influence of Genesis 22 and its interpretive tradition is to be found in the conceptual framework that Shakespeare develops to explore relationships among ideas of religion, sovereignty, law, and justice. Jackson probes the Shakespearean texts from the vantage of modern theology and critical theory, while also orienting them toward the traditions concerning Abraham in Jewish, Pauline, patristic, medieval, and Reformation sources and early English drama. Consequently, the playwright's "Abrahamic explorations" become strikingly apparent in unexpected places such as the "trial" of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and the bifurcated structure of Timon of Athens. By situating Shakespeare in a complex genealogy that extends from ancient religion to postmodern philosophy, Jackson inserts Shakespeare into the larger contemporary conversation about religion in the modern world. "Ken Jackson's Shakespeare and Abraham poses a powerful model for how a biblical hero can be recovered within a number of divergent dramatic contexts--both Shakespearean and medieval--as well as in philosophy and theology. Writing with great clarity about challenging ideas, Jackson has led us a great deal closer to understanding the meanings that the binding of Isaac held for Shakespeare."--Julia Reinhard Lupton, University of California, Irvine"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Abraham (Biblical patriarch) -- In literature
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Religion
Abraham (Biblical patriarch)
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Bible. Genesis, III, 22-24 -- Influence
Fathers and sons in literature.
DRAMA -- English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh.
Fathers and sons in literature.
Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)
LITERARY CRITICISM -- European -- English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 026808355X