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Shakespeare’s Binding Language - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Shakespeare’s Binding Language

John Kerrigan


This remarkable, innovative book explores the significance in Shakespeare’s plays of oaths, vows, contracts, pledges, and the other utterances and acts by which characters commit themselves to the truth of things past, present, and to come. In early modern England, such binding language was everywhere. Oaths of office, marriage vows, legal bonds, and casual, everyday profanity gave shape and texture to life. The proper use of such language, and the extent of its power to bind, was argued over by lawyers, religious writers, and satirists, and these debates inform literature and drama. This book ... More

Keywords: Shakespeare, oaths, vows, promises, early modern history, drama

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198757580
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198757580.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Kerrigan, author
Professor of English 2000, University of Cambridge