chapter
19 Pages

Introduction

ByRegina Buccola, Lisa Hopkins

Marian Moments in Early Modern Drama seeks to deepen understanding of the ways in which representations of such powerfully resonant and conflicted moments functioned on the early modern stage. Marian Moments in Early Modern Drama concerns itself with the complex interplay between iconoclasm against images of the Virgin Mary in post-Reformation England and stage representations that evoke various Marian moments from the medieval, Catholic past. Scholars of early modern English verse and prose have been slower than their counterparts in the discipline of history to fully explore the significance of holdover elements of Catholic practice in the culture of the period. The Virgin Mary's status shifted during the Reformation period from touchstone for religious piety to litmus test for heretical idolatry. Findlay's argument situates Shakespeare's empowering vision of female knowledge and sexuality firmly in the context of early modern depictions of the Virgin Mary in terms of a unique combination of erotic, redemptive and heavenly power.