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Montaigne's English JourneyReading the Essays in Shakespeare's Day$
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William M. Hamlin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684113.001.0001

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Montaignian Conscience and the Shakespearean God-Surrogate

Montaignian Conscience and the Shakespearean God-Surrogate

(p.110) 5 Montaignian Conscience and the Shakespearean God-Surrogate
Montaigne's English Journey

William M. Hamlin

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 examines the Montaignian account of conscience in human affairs, focusing in particular on such essays as ‘Of Conscience’ and ‘Of Repentance’. It then turns to the full spectrum of Shakespearean considerations of conscience, investigating the circumstances wherein conscience may be construed as susceptible to external stimuli which prompt involuntary self-exposure. But even in establishing clear continuities between Montaigne and Shakespeare on this subject, the chapter argues that by juxtaposing their respective treatments of conscience we can more sharply distinguish the forms of scepticism which animate their broader authorial outlooks.

Keywords:   Montaigne, Shakespeare, conscience, faith, scepticism, God, divinity, Christianity, ideology, King Lear

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