Dramatist, poet, actor; b. Stratford-on-Avon, April 1564; d. there, April 23, 1616. The facts of Shakespeare's life, preserved in authentic records, are considerable. Unfortunately he left no diaries or personal letters nor did he attract the notice of gossips or note takers, so that all attempts to write an intimate life must rely on guesswork.
The Biographical Record
The records show that he was the son of John Shakespeare, yeoman and glover, a leading citizen of Stratford, and of Mary Arden of Wilmcote, whose family were staunch Catholic gentlefolk. William was baptized April 26, 1564.
According to Nicholas Rowe (1674–1718), who published the first short biography in 1709, Shakespeare was educated at the Stratford grammar school. The masters of the school during and after his boyhood—all graduates
of Oxford—were Walter Roche, 1569 to 1571; Simon Hunt, 1571 to 1575 (when he went overseas to Douai and was later admitted into the Society of Jesus in 1578); Thomas Jenkins, 1575 to 1579; John Cottam, 1579 to 1581; and Alexander Aspinall, 1581 to 1624. At Elizabethan grammar schools, boys were subjected to an elaborate memory training in Latin (and to a lesser degree in Greek) and read a fair selection of the greater classics. All this fostered in brighter boys a keen interest in language and its use as well as a general knowledge of classical mythology and history.
On Nov. 28, 1582, a license was issued by the Bishop of Worcester to "William Shagspere" to marry "Anne Hathwey" of Stratford after one reading of the banns. According to the inscription on her gravestone, Anne Shakespeare died on Aug. 6, 1623, aged 67 years, and was thus eight years older than her husband. Their three children were baptized in Stratford church—Susanna on May 26, 1583, and Hamnet and Judith (twins) on Feb. 2, 1585. Nothing is certainly known of Shakespeare's early manhood; traditions that he was forced to flee Stratford for stealing deer from Sir Thomas Lucy, the local magnate, and that he was for some time a schoolmaster in the country are disputed and unverifiable but may have some foundation in fact.
Actor and Playwright. From 1592 onward the outline of Shakespeare's life is clear. He had become an actor and playwright in London. On March 3, 1592, Philip Henslowe, owner of the Rose playhouse, noted in his account book the first performance of "harey the vj" (presumably I Henry VI ), which was the most successful play of the season. Shakespeare was now attracting attention. In August he was venemously attacked by Robert Greene in A Groatsworth of Wit (published posthumously). His first poem, Venus and Adonis, was entered for printing on April 18, 1593, with a signed dedication to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, to whom Shakespeare also dedicated The Rape of Lucrece in May
1594. By the end of the year he was a leading sharer in the Lord Chamberlain's company of players, and was mentioned with Richard Burbage and William Kempe as receiving payment for court performances during the Christmas holidays. Shakespeare's son Hamnet was buried Aug. 11, 1596. In October a grant of arms was issued by the College of Heralds to Shakespeare's father, whereby father and son were entitled to call themselves gentlemen. In November, Shakespeare and others were quarrelling with one William Wayte who craved a surety of the peace against them. This record was discovered and published by Leslie Hotson in 1931, but no details of the affair have come to light. On May 4, 1597, Shakespeare was able to purchase for £60 a large house known as New Place in the center of Stratford.
Established Dramatist. By 1598, Shakespeare's reputation as a dramatist was established. Francis Meres in his Palladis Tamia: Wits' Treasury (a book of commonplaces entered for printing Sept. 7, 1598) added a "comparative discourse" of English poets in which Shakespeare was mentioned more often than any other writer, as poet and writer of comedy and tragedy. Meres also recorded the names of 12 of Shakespeare's plays: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, Love's Labour's Won (apparently lost), A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV, King John, Titus Andronicus, and Romeo and Juliet. In September 1598, Shakespeare acted a part in Jonson's Every Man in His Humor. At the end of the year he, with six other members of the Chamberlain's Company, shared in the expense of erecting the new Globe playhouse on the bankside. On May 1, 1602, he bought 107 acres of arable land in Stratford for £320.
Queen Elizabeth I died on March 24, 1603. Her successor, James I, soon after arriving in London, appointed the Chamberlain's Company to be his own players—The King's Men, as they were henceforward known—and in the license of appointment, Shakespeare's name stands second. Thereafter the King's Men prospered; in the new reign they acted at court four times as often as under the old Queen. About this time Shakespeare was boarding in the house of Christopher Mountjoy, a Huguenot tiremaker, near St. Olave's Church in Cripplegate. Mountjoy's daughter married an apprentice named Stephen Bellot, and Shakespeare aided the negotiations. In 1612, Bellott sued his father-in-law for failing to provide his daughter with the promised portion. Shakespeare was a principal witness in the case. On July 24, 1605, Shakespeare was able to invest £440 in the right to tithes in and about Stratford, which yielded him an income of £60 a year; and in March 1613, he bought for £140 a dwelling house erected over the gatehouse of the old Blackfriars monastery in the city of London.
Final Years. The last years of Shakespeare's life were spent at Stratford, and his name is several times mentioned in local records. On March 25, 1616, he made his will, a lengthy document of three large parchment sheets, now preserved in Somerset House, London. He died on April 23, 1616, and was buried on the 25th in the chancel of the church at Stratford. Soon afterward a tablet with a memorial bust within an ornate arch was erected on the north wall overlooking the grave. A far more important memorial was provided in 1623 when Heminge and Condell, surviving members of the original Chamberlain's Company, sponsored the publication of 36 of Shakespeare's plays in one large volume known as the First Folio. It preserved 22 plays that would otherwise have perished.
These and other similar records show that William Shakespeare was born at Stratford-on-Avon, married at 18, and after a manhood spent no one knows how and where, became a successful dramatist in London; that he prospered and invested his gains; that he died and was buried in his native town (to the great profit of subsequent inhabitants). The lack of heroic or romantic anecdotes has proved so disappointing to some that they have even denied that William Shakespeare of Stratford was indeed the author of his own plays—a doubt which no reputable scholar has ever endorsed.
During Shakespeare's lifetime, 16 of his plays were printed (and reprinted) separately in quarto form; of these some were issued without any author's name. (Those editions in which Shakespeare's name is given on the title page are marked with an asterisk.) Titus Andronicus, 1594 (reprinted 1600, 1611); Richard II, 1597 (reprinted 1598* twice, 1608*, 1615*); Richard III, 1597 (reprinted 1598*, 1602*, 1605*, 1612*); Romeo and Juliet, 1597 (a pirated text, 1599—good text, reprinted 1609); Love's Labour's Lost, 1598*; Henry IV, pt. I, 1598 (reprinted 1599*, 1604*, 1608*, 1613*); Henry IV, pt. II, 1600*; Henry V, 1600 (corrupt pirated text reprinted 1602); The Merchant of Venice, 1600*; A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1600*; Much Ado about Nothing, 1600*; The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1602* (corrupt pirated text); Hamlet, 1603* (corrupt pirated text), 1604* (complete text, reprinted 1611*); King Lear, 1608*; Troilus and Cressida, 1609*; Pericles, 1609* (reprinted 1611*), not included in the Folio.
Shakespeare came to the theater at just the right time. The Theater—the first playhouse erected in London solely for plays—had been built in 1576; theater-going was increasingly popular; professional actors had gained competence and were prospering; and although the art of drama had not yet fully matured, most of the major problems of play writing had been resolved. Shakespeare's immediate predecessors—especially Marlowe and Kyd—were learning how to construct a plot with a theme, how to create character, and to write effective dramatic speeches and quick, lively dialogue. Moreover, the London theater was just becoming a national institution that, as never before or since, expressed the feelings of a nation. In addition, Shakespeare had to earn his living by writing plays that would please mixed audiences, so that he was not tempted to appeal solely either to the intellectuals or to the groundlings. Ben Jonson quipped that Shakespeare had little Latin and less Greek, but this could be an advantage. When Shakespeare wanted a metaphor or a simile, he was less inclined to borrow from the classics or the commonplace book; instead he used those direct experiences that came to him through his five senses, with the result that his words have a unique and permanent vitality.
Shakespeare's working life falls into four periods of activity, broken by intervals when the playhouses were shut because of outbreaks of the plague in London. These occurred in 1592 to 1594, 1603, and 1609 to 1611. In each period there were notable developments in his dramatic skill and technique.
The First Period—to 1594. To the period before 1594 belong the three parts of Henry VI, which begins with the funeral of Henry V and ends with the murder of the saintly but ineffectual Henry VI by Richard of Gloucester. Their general theme is the anarchy that befell England during the Wars of the Roses (1455–85) when the descendants of Edward III fought each other for the throne—a theme very close to Englishmen of the 1590s who feared that the death of Elizabeth I without an acknowledged heir would again lead to a disputed succession and general anarchy. In this period Shakespeare also wrote The Taming of the Shrew (a recasting of an old play), The Comedy of Errors (another version of Plautus's comedy of mistaken identities, The Twin Menechmi ), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (a romantic story of the treachery of Proteus toward his friend Valentine), and the brilliant society play Love's Labour's Lost (which abounds in witty topicalities, most of which are now unintelligible). He also wrote one tragedy, Titus Andronicus, an accumulation of horrors—rape, mutilation, murder, and unwitting cannibalism—one of his most popular plays.
In all these early plays Shakespeare showed considerable facility with words and a conscious concern with literary art: alliteration, wordplay, puns, variety of meter, rhetorical devices of every kind, and an excess of elaborate, obvious poetic imagery used more for its own sake than to illumine meaning. At first Shakespeare was the clever amateur showing off his skill in entertaining an audience rather than a serious dramatist.
The Second Period—1594 to 1603. After the plague of 1592 to 1594, the playing companies were reorganized and Shakespeare became a full sharer in the Chamberlain's company. In Romeo and Juliet, his first great play (and the finest drama produced in English to that time), he had become a serious professional writer who saw significance behind the story, for the theme of the tragedy is not only the useless deaths of two passionate young lovers but the futility of family hatred. Similarly, in Richard III, which concluded the story of the Wars of the Roses with the death of Richard and the establishment of the Tudor dynasty, Shakespeare concentrated on the character of a man morally warped by physical deformity. Evil deeds bring inevitable retribution. In The Merchant of Venice he first showed complete mastery of dramatic technique. Shakespeare had considerable understanding of Shylock's wrongs and in the trial scene he touched, though not very deeply, on the fundamental issue of justice versus mercy.
About the same time as Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare had returned to history in Richard II to show how the civil wars started; some two or three years later he wrote the two parts of Henry IV, which are concerned partly with the education of Prince Hal but even more with the disreputable adventures of Sir John Falstaff, the greatest comic character in English drama. Shakespeare ended the series with Henry V, the portrait of a great soldier-king. In these plays Shakespeare revealed deep understanding of the lonely responsibility, everlasting anxiety, and ruthlessness essential to a successful ruler of men. He also stressed the moral that, in dethroning the anointed King Richard II, Henry of Bolingbroke was the direct cause of the long agonies of the Wars of the Roses.
To this second period also belong the three most popular comedies: Much Ado about Nothing, which combines the romantic story of the wronging of Hero and the realistic comedy of how Benedick the vowed bachelor and Beatrice the sworn manhater are tricked into love; As You Like It, a pastoral romance with a considerable vein of mockery; and Twelfth Night, another story of the mistakes caused by twins, but so exquisitely wrought that it is the most frequently acted of all Shakespeare's comedies. The Merry Wives of Windsor, though still actable, is not one of the greater comedies; the attempt to show Falstaff in love (by royal command of Queen Elizabeth) was beyond anyone's powers, for Falstaff is essentially a man's man. In 1599, Shakespeare wrote also the Roman tragedy of Julius Caesar, a straight, competent dramatization of the story told in Plutarch's Lives; Antony's speech delivered at Caesar's funeral showed that Shakespeare had a full understanding of the arts of demagogy. Hamlet, the most fascinating and most controverted play ever written, and Othello, the best constructed of all the tragedies, were written at the turn of the century, as was Troilus and Cressida, a bitter comment on false and romantic notions of love, honor, and war.
The art of drama had advanced very rapidly in the last years of the old queen, and Shakespeare now had rivals, chief among them Jonson, Marston, Chapman, and Dekker. Playgoers had become keen, critical, and sophisticated in their demands. At the accession of James I in March 1603, the prospects of Shakespeare's company improved, especially after the king had made them his own players; but in May the worst outbreak of plague for many years again interrupted play going until the end of the year.
The Third Period—1603 to 1616. In the third period, Shakespeare's first play was the "dark comedy" Measure for Measure; it reflects the newer moods of the public but is not one of his best. In it he states a stark problem in ethics—whether Claudio's life should be saved at the price of Isabella's chastity—but offers no other solution than darkling assignations, substituted lovers and heads, and a melodramatic happy ending. The play has, however, continued to intrigue modern critics.
The Tragedy of King Lear, the deepest of all the tragedies, was written in 1605–06. In it Shakespeare offers a vision of how the good is powerless against absolute evil, and how, ultimately, man can but "endure his going hence even as his coming hither." Macbeth was written about the same time; it dramatizes a story of ambition and murder and the subsequent degeneration of Macbeth and his ruthless wife. There are some signs that the play was written in haste to please King James. In both Lear and Macbeth the language is difficult because of its excessive concentration of phrase and image; the thought has become too overwhelming for clearly logical expression. Antony and Cleopatra followed, continuing the story of Antony to his ruin through his fatal passion for Cleopatra, a play which Shakespeare obviously wrote with zest; it abounds in his finest dramatic verse.
The last of the tragedies was Coriolanus, a political play in which the balance of antipathy (rather than of sympathy) is held evenly between the arrogance of a proud patrician and the opportunism of the tribunes of the people; but the major theme is the dominance of Volumnia over the son whom she has so disastrously molded. The last of the series was Timon of Athens, probably never finished, in which the misanthropy that had been accumulating in Shakespeare's plays reached its depth. By this time (1609) the taste of playgoers was turning from serious drama to the more facile kind of tragicomedy popularized by the two young dramatists Beaumont (1584–1616) and Fletcher (1579–1625).
Another long interruption occurred between 1609 and 1611. When Shakespeare resumed playwriting, his themes and methods changed. The next four plays were the comedies of the "final period." Shakespeare was only part author of Pericles; Cymbeline, a fantastic mingling of a story by Boccaccio of a bet on the chastity of a faithful wife and dubious Romano-British history, was dubbed by Dr. Johnson "unresisting imbecility." In The Winter's Tale, a dramatization of a story by Greene, the fatal suspicion of Leontes that his wife Hermione has committed adultery with his friend Polixenes is finally purged when the son of Polixenes is betrothed to Hermione's long-lost daughter Perdita.
The last of the comedies was The Tempest, which some regard as the finest and greatest of the poetic dramas. Shakespeare's last surviving play, Henry VIII (in which he may have collaborated with Fletcher), was a return to English history. As an oblique comment on the Reformation in England and its causes, the play is enigmatic, for, as the events are shown, the author's sympathies are all with Katherine, Henry's much wronged wife and Queen. To Shakespeare's contemporaries, for whom the Reformation was still a vital issue, the play would have been most remarkable for what it left unsaid.
Shakespeare also wrote two long narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, and The Sonnets. Venus and Adonis (1593) tells how the goddess Venus hotly but vainly wooed the love of young Adonis, who was slain by a wild boar. The poem was regarded by contemporaries as lascivious; it was very popular. The Rape of Lucrece is a versifying of the sad story of how Lucrece, treacherously outraged by Tarquin, killed herself to redeem her lost honor. The Sonnets (published in 1609, but probably written in the 1590s) are mostly written to a beautiful young man. If they are autobiographical, they reveal a story of Shakespeare's relations with a young man of better fortune than himself, of quarrels and rivals, of the theft of the poet's mistress by the young friend, of reconciliation. A small group of the sonnets is addressed to the faithless mistress—the Dark Lady. Various candidates for the post of the young man have been proposed, of whom the two favorites are Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, and William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke; but for neither is the evidence as yet conclusive.
Shakespeare has been claimed by Catholics, Anglicans, Puritans, and agnostics. For the Anglican claim, it can be pointed out that he and his children were all baptized in the Anglican church at Stratford, in which he was also buried. In his plays he echoes the English Bible and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. But he shows equally a considerable knowledge of Catholic teaching, doctrine, and practice; and there is good evidence that his father, John Shakespeare, was a zealous Catholic, for in 1592 his name appears in a list of 42 who were reported to the Bishop of Worcester as "recusants."
His Father's "Will." More significant is a little-known document called "John Shakespeare's Will." The original, long since destroyed, was found hidden in the tiles of his house in Henley Street at Stratford. A transcript was made by a local antiquary, John Jordan, and published in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1783. The document was accepted as genuine by Edmund Malone, who reprinted it in his edition of Shakespeare's works in 1790. The will is a profession of the Catholic faith in the form of a spiritual testament in 14 clauses, each beginning with "I, John Shakespeare." The testator declares that at the time of writing he may die unprepared by any sacrament, and if so he prays that he may be spiritually anointed. This form of spiritual testament was drawn up by St. Charles borromeo and was especially designed for times of religious persecution. Versions are known in Spanish, Italian, and the Swiss dialect. It is a sign of John Shakespeare's steadfastness that he hid rather than burnt so dangerous a document, especially after the troubles that befell his wife's family in 1583–84.
The senior member of the Arden family at that time was Edward Arden of Park Hall, who maintained a priest, Hugh Hall, to say Mass. In 1583, when the mission of St. Edmund campion was still disturbing the Privy Council, Edward Arden's son-in-law, John Somerville, oppressed by private and religious troubles, went out of his mind, eluded his family, and made for London where he was heard to utter wild threats against the life of Elizabeth. As a result the whole family was involved in a charge of high treason. Edward Arden was condemned to death and executed by quartering at Smithfield on Dec. 26, 1584. His wife and Hall were also condemned. Mrs. Arden was subsequently pardoned; the priest and Somerville died in prison. Edward Arden was a cousin of Shakespeare's mother. Shakespeare was 20 at this time. In Warwickshire the chief agent in the persecution of the Ardens was that Sir Thomas Lucy who, according to the legends of Shakespeare's early manhood, was the cause of his flight from Stratford. When Shakespeare reemerged from obscurity, he dedicated his Venus and Adonis to the young Earl of Southampton, whose family was Catholic.
Catholic Sympathies. It is thus likely that Shakespeare was brought up in a Catholic home, but there is no evidence that he practiced the faith in his maturity. His sympathies in the plays—so far as the plays can be used as evidence—are generally Catholic. His priests, such as Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, Friar Francis in Much Ado, the priest in Twelfth Night, are grave, patient, well-meaning men whom everyone respects. In Measure for Measure, the Duke, for worthy motives, disguises himself as a friar, and even hears confessions—an action which no one seemed to question.
The few Protestant ministers who appear in the plays are less admirable. Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives is amusing; Sir Nathaniel in Love's Labour's Lost is a worthy man and a good bowler though an indifferent actor; in As You Like It, Sir Oliver Martext is a poor specimen. It is also relevant that in his version of King John, Shakespeare wiped out the hearty anti-Catholic propaganda of the old play he recast. In Hamlet there are several instances of Catholic doctrine and sentiment. The Ghost of Hamlet's father, for example, comes back from Purgatory (and not, as was more usual with returned ghosts in Elizabethan dramas, from a classical Hades), whither he was suddenly dispatched "unhouseled, disappointed, unanealed"—without absolution, preparation or Extreme Unction; but to Hamlet, death is a consummation devoutly to be wished only if it leads to the annihilation of a dreamless sleep. Hamlet himself is more interested in man than in God.
While the early plays are sprinkled with Christian sentiments, orthodox and often quite conventional, the later plays, especially the tragedies, seem to indicate that Shakespeare had lapsed into an almost Greek belief in fate. Finally in The Tempest where—if ever—Shakespeare speaks out of part through Prospero, he sees the universe dissolving to leave not a rack—a wisp of cloud—behind.
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Until further evidence is available, the question of Shakespeare's religious convictions and practice must remain unsolved. There is no record that he ever suffered for his faith either in purse or in person; unlike his father or Ben Jonson, he is not known to have been delated as a recusant or fined for failure to attend the services of the state Church. Nevertheless there is the flat statement of Archdeacon Richard Davies (d. 1708), a Warwickshire antiquary, that "he died a papist."
Bibliography: The bibliography of Shakespeare is enormous and increases yearly by more than 200 items. The best general guide is f. w. bateson, ed., The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 5 v. (Cambridge, Eng. 1940–57). New work is recorded annually in Year's Work in English Studies (London 1919–), Shakespeare Survey (Cambridge, Eng. 1948–), and Shakespeare Quarterly (New York 1950–). The following is but a very short selection. General and reference. e. k. chambers, William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, 2 v. (Oxford 1930) includes all relevant records and documents concerning Shakespeare. j. bartlett, A New and Complete Concordance … to the Dramatic Works of Shakespeare (London 1894, 1896, 1922, 1927,1937). c. m. ingleby, The Shakespeare Allusion-Book, ed. j. j. munro, 2 v. (London 1932). t. w. baldwin, William Shakespere's Small Latine and Lesse Greeke, 2 v. (Urbana, Ill. 1944) comprehensive account of Elizabethan education. h. granville-barker and g. b. harrison, eds., A Companion to Shakespeare Studies (New York 1934). Stage conditions. e. k. chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, 4 v. (Oxford 1923). w. w. greg, ed., Henslowe's Diary, 2v. (London 1904–08); Henslowe Papers, idem. (London 1907). j.c. adams, The Globe Playhouse (Cambridge, Mass. 1942). c. w. hodges, The Globe Restored (London 1953). a. harbage, Shakespeare's Audience (New York 1941). Sources of the plays. g. bullough, ed., Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare (New York 1957–) in progress; 4 v. issued. Study of the text. w. w. greg, The Shakespeare First Folio: Its Bibiographical and Textual History (Oxford 1955). Shakespeare's religion. (Catholic), h. mutsch man, Shakespeare and Catholicism (New York 1952). (Protestant). e. i. fripp, Shakespeare, Man and Artist, 2 v. (London 1938), very full about Shakespeare's Stratford background. Criticism. The best of the early criticism is included in d. n. smith, ed., Shakespeare Criticism (London 1916), beginnings to Carlyle. Of the established critics, the most important are: s. t. coleridge, Coleridge's Shakespearean Criticism, ed. t. m. raysor, 2 v. (London 1930). w. haz litt, Characters of Shakespeare's Plays (London 1917). e. dowden, Shakespeare: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art (London 1875). a. c. bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy (New York 1904). h. granville-barker, Prefaces to Shakespeare, 5 series (London 1923–1947). Representative of modern approaches are g.w. knight, The Wheel of Fire (London 1930). e. e. stoll, Shakespeare Studies (New York 1927). c. f. e. spurgeon, Shakespeare's Imagery, and What It Tells Us (New York 1936). r. b. heilman, This Great Stage (Baton Rouge 1948). e. jones, Hamlet and Oedipus (Garden City, N.Y. 1949). w. clemen, The Development of Shakespeare's Imagery (Cambridge, Mass. 1951). Annotated texts. s. johnson, ed. The Plays of William Shakespeare, 8 v. (London 1765). h. h. furness, ed., A New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare (Philadelphia 1871–). u. ellis-fermor, ed., The Arden Shakespeare (new ed. Cambridge, Mass. 1951–). a. quiller-couch and j. d. wilson, eds., The New Shakespeare (New York 1921–). g. b. harrison, ed., Shakespeare: The Complete Works (New York 1952). g. m. pinciss, Forbidden Matter: Religion in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Newark, Del.; London; and Cranbury, N.J., 2000). s. marx, Shakespeare and the Bible (Oxford and New York 2000). h. fisch, The Biblical Presence in Shakespeare, Milton, and Blake: A Comparative Study (Oxford and New York 1999). d. d. waters, Christian Settings in Shakespeare's Tragedies (Rutherford, N.J.; London; and Cranbury, N.J. 1994). r.w. battenhouse, ed., Shakespeare's Christian Dimension: An Anthology of Commentary. (Bloomington, Ind. 1994). j. dollimore, Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology, and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Durham, N.C. 2nd ed.,1993). r. r. reed, Crime and God's Judgment in Shakespeare (Lexington, Ky. 1984).
[g. b. harrison]
"Shakespeare, William." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shakespeare-william
"Shakespeare, William." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shakespeare-william