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Shakespeare's Moral Compass$
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Neema Parvini

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474432870

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474432870.001.0001

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(p.262) Chapter 9 Sanctity
Shakespeare's Moral Compass

Neema Parvini

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the link between sin and dirtiness, disease or contagion in Shakespeare by looking at some key examples in King Lear, Timon of Athens, Othello, Richard III, Hamlet,Othello, and Macbeth. It also compares Shakespeare’s sometimes gruesome descriptions of degradation with those found in the Protestant theology of Richard Hooker and John Calvin, who each provide dark visons of human impurity. It also cross references Catholic teachings on sin as embodied in Thomas Aquinas. In the process, the chapter attempts to discover what was sacred to Shakespeare.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Sanctity, Jonathan Haidt, Othello, King Lear, Richard III, Hamlet, Timon of Athens, John Calvin, Thomas Aquinas

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