Prayer, Despair, and Drama
About the Book
"Strikingly original and beautifully written....Prayer, Despair, and Drama is an extremely rich, complex study." -- John Corrigan, Arizona State University West
Prayer, Despair, and Drama explores the godly sorrow and pious dis-ease, or lack of ease, of Elizabethan Calvinists and finds that what some have characterized as an evangelism of fear functioned more as a kind of religious therapy.
In this major contribution to discussions of the relationship between religion and literature in Elizabethan England, Peter Iver Kaufman argues that the soul-searching and self-scourging typical of late Tudor Calvinism was reflected in the rhetoric of self-loathing then prevalent in sermons, sonnets, and soliloquys. Kaufman shows how this spiritual psychology informs major literary texts including Hamlet, The Fairie Queene, Donne's Holy Sonnets, and other works.
A volume in the series Studies in Anglican History, edited by Peter W. Williams