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War and Nation in the Theatre of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries$
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Simon Barker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627653

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627653.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Good Friday, 1513

Good Friday, 1513

(p.49) 3 Good Friday, 1513
War and Nation in the Theatre of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Simon Barker

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter presents an incident reported by Desiderius Erasmus when Henry VIII of England challenged John Colet for preaching an antiwar sermon just as troops were about to embark on an expedition to France. Henry was disturbed by Colet's anti-war tone and especially his pronouncements against those inspiring figures from the past who were models in a long chain of military leaders that led finally to his own person. Colet's sermon had been a narrative of damnation or salvation, evoking the competing figures of Christ (peace) and the Devil (war). The military writing produced in the years between Colet's sermon at St Paul's and the outbreak of war between Charles Stuart and Parliament offered a complex theological, political and philosophical argument that secured the concept of the just war and pushed to the margins any residual notions of pacifism.

Keywords:   John Colet, Desiderius Erasmus, Henry VIII, antiwar sermon, Christ, Devil, Good Friday, Charles Stuart, Parliament

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