March 16, 2021

Scriptural Influence on Shakespeare

Event Series: The Christian Literary Imagination

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Playwright William Shakespeare alludes to the Bible many times across his work, but how might we appreciate his use of it? It is perhaps surprising that the character who quotes from the Bible most often is the comic Sir John Falstaff. In a discussion with Michael Scott, Paul Edmondson illustrated Shakespeare's varied use of the Bible. In doing so, Edmondson identified the parts of scripture with which Shakespeare most engaged.

This event was sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project, the Georgetown Humanities Initiative, the Georgetown Master’s Program in the Engaged and Public HumanitiesCampion Hall (University of Oxford), and the Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars Hall (University of Oxford). It is part of a year-long series on the Christian Literary Imagination.


Paul Edmondson is head of research for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and a priest in the Church of England. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of many books and articles about Shakespeare, including (with Stanley Wells) The Shakespeare Circle: an Alternative Biography (2015) and All the Sonnets of Shakespeare (2020). 

Professor Michael Scott (moderator) is Senior Dean and Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, college adviser for postgraduate students, and a Member of the Las Casas Institute at the University of Oxford. He also serves as senior adviser to the president at Georgetown University. Scott was on the editorial board which relaunched Critical Survey from Oxford
University Press. Scott previously served as the pro vice chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University.