Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Lamb, Mary Ellen

Abstract

It has been suggested that William Shakespeare was a closet Catholic. His play, The Winter's Tale, may be an insight into these hidden religious beliefs. The theories are given credence when the figure of Hermione is examined as both a parallel Mary figure and a representation of the Catholic Church within England prior to Elizabeth's ascension to the throne. Echoes of the repression of Catholicism by the power structure of 16th century England can be seen in Hermione's death and the later resurrection of her character.

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