How Did Religion Influence Shakespeare

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The extent to which religion influenced Shakespeare’s writings has been a long debated topic amongst academics and theatre enthusiasts alike. There is no negating the presence of religion in the life of William Shakespeare, his father being a public figure lent an expectation of piousness amongst his family, and religious upheaval of the Elizabethan age would have directly influenced Shakespeare’s thoughts and writings. Many theories circulate in regards to Shakespeare’s religious convictions: an atheist, a papist and a recusant, and the absence of any personal religious statements in his works ignite the notion of a concealed religious affiliation of which he wished not to express publicly (Asquith)”. (Baker 59). Through assessing Shakespeare’s writings within the contexts of religion, a much clearer and relevant story is presented, and in this I will argue that religious influences contributed to their deeper meaning and furthered the significance of his works.…show more content…
In this notion, it can be seen that his worldview would be shaped by the infiltration of Catholicism into every aspect of society that he was brought up in, and how this infiltration would influence his prolific writings. A rumored Catholic, William Shakespeare’s father John Shakespeare has been historically noted to have been the mayor of Stratford during William’s childhood, and as the mayor, would have partaken in weekly mass at the local Holy Trinity Church; a legal necessity in the 1570s (Alexander 1). This weekly church attendance following decades of conflict which was marred by inheriting and relinquishing Catholicism and Protestantism, would have played a pivotal role in William Shakespeare’s
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