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Heather Anne Hirschfeld
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37916-3801)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2007 – 7/31/2007

Satisfactions of the Renaissance: Revenge Tragedy and the English Reformation

This project examines the ways in which English Renaissance revenge tragedy dramatizes the conceptual implications of Reformation doctrinal change. Looking at a range of scriptural, patristic, Reform, and Counter-Reform teachings on reparation and atonement, I argue for a historic shift during the period in the meaning and experience of satisfying for sin. I then chart, in relation to this claim, treatments of vengeance by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, arguing that their presentation of ever-escalating strategies of revenge serves as dramatic testimony to the ways in which Reformation theologies heightened the autonomy of the human subject at the cost of its efficacy.