Allegory and Allusions to St. Peter in Romeo and Juliet Cover Image

Alegorie a odkazy k apoštolu Petrovi v Shakespearově Romeovi a Julii
Allegory and Allusions to St. Peter in Romeo and Juliet

Author(s): Petr Osolsobě
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, 16th Century, Biblical studies, Drama, British Literature
Published by: Masarykova univerzita nakladatelství
Keywords: Shakespeare; religion; Romeo and Juliet; drama; allegory; Bible; literary history; English recusant history;

Summary/Abstract: The recusant culture in the time of the queen Elizabeth (1558–1603) developed a lot of rhetorical devices, figures, tropes and allegories to convey hidden religious and political meanings. Apostle Peter, whose authority had been lessened by reformers, epitomized the institution of papacy and the Roman Church for the Catholics as is clearly understandable from the poem Saint Peter’s Complaint by Robert Southwell or from the motet Tu es Petrus by William Byrd. In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare creatively adapted motifs taken from his sources (Brooke, Painter) but added to them a remarkable number of allusions, canonical terms, and references to St. Peter the apostle, to the Ecclesia Romana and to Rome as well as to the liturgy of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, thereby underlining a sacrificial value of Juliet’s suffering in figura Christi for the sanctity of her marriage. This article supports the thesis that Shakespeare made use of the Bible and scholastic philosophy for his dramatic purpose, and deliberately imbued the secular subject-matter with a religious vocabulary and imagery.

  • Issue Year: 21/2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 31-46
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Czech