By Debora Shuger
Shuger's learn of degree to degree bargains a sweeping reinterpretation of English political proposal within the aftermath of the Reformation, one who focuses no longer at the stress among Crown and Parliament yet at the relation of the sacred to the state.
Read or Download Political Theologies in Shakespeare’s England: The Sacred and the State in Measure for Measure PDF
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Additional info for Political Theologies in Shakespeare’s England: The Sacred and the State in Measure for Measure
70 Illicit sex is like narcotics: it turns people into criminals. ’75 A ruler’s private vice inevitably leads to public and political corruption, which is why, from Suetonius’ Twelve Caesars to Marlowe’s Edward III and Shakespeare’s Richard II, sexual immorality remains the hallmark of the tyrant. The belief that illicit sex erodes the moral foundations of personality and hence that the ethical order of the state hinges on the private virtues of public officials has an obvious bearing on Measure for Measure.
48 Puritans, to whom it mattered very much that legal sanctions be calibrated in terms of absolute morality, insisted not only on the sinfulness of fornication but on the state’s duty to punish it. While no parliamentary bills suggested punishing it by death, Bucer seems to have favored this, as did some Puritan moralists. The trust in draconian laws is a Puritan hallmark, but these texts also share the Homilies’ anxiety that popular insoucience about the erotic ‘pastime[s]’ of English youth bespeaks some terrible moral disorientation of the whole society.
21). 26 Political Theologies in Shakespeare’s England Here, as elsewhere, Bucer adopts (and adapts) the Laws’ marital regulations as a vastly preferable alternative to the traditional Christian discipline and theology of wedlock. 18). 15), not a merely private concern. Furthermore, as a political matter, it is subject to regulation by the civil authorities, not just by the church. Bucer thus argues that the prince ought to use both ‘the authority of laws and strictness of judgments’ to ‘ensure that marriages be piously contracted,’ it being vital for the ‘well-being of the commonwealth that matrimony be .