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UBC Theses and Dissertations

"The bottome of goddes secrets" : Paul’s Corrinthian letters and the playgoer’s spiritual experience in the Elizabethan theatre Scott, Katryna Leah


The debate surrounding "Bottom's dream" in A Midsummer Night's Dream 4.1. has hitherto been focused almost exclusively on Shakespeare's intentions: Did Shakespeare intend this to be an audible reference to 1 Corinthians 2.9T10? What does this say about his vision for the play? I instead examine this play from the critically neglected perspective of the spirituality of the Elizabethan playgoer. After a thorough examination of popular 16th century religious works, I suggest that the spiritual playgoer could have drawn on a particularly Pauline religious knowledge—obtained through exposure to theological discourse, printed and heard—in responding to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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