"This demon in the garb of a monk": Shakespeare, the Gothic and the discourse of anti-Catholicism

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Abstract / Description of output

This essay explores the religious, political and cultural significance that comes to be attached to the figure of Shakespeare in the early Gothic novel, and the ways in which Shakespeare's status as the national poet assumes a distinctly Protestant, anti-Catholic inflection in the genre. Focusing on two key Gothic novels from the 1790s, Matthew Lewis's The Monk (1796) and Ann Radcliffe's The Italian (1797), the essay examines how Shakespeare is appropriated and deployed in the two texts, and the ways in which he is used both to uphold and critique the assumption that English national identity is ineluctably Protestant in character.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-67
JournalShakespeare
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Shakespeare
  • gothic novel
  • religion
  • national identity
  • Catholicism
  • anti-Catholicism
  • Protestantism
  • Franciscans
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Ann Radcliffe

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