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Shakespeare and the Afterlife

John S. Garrison

November 2018

ISBN: 9780198801108

172 pages

In Stock

Oxford Shakespeare Topics

Price: £16.99

Shakespeare and the Afterlife is the first book to focus on discussions of what happens after death within the author's body of work.



Shakespeare and the Afterlife is the first book to focus on discussions of what happens after death within the author's body of work.

  • Explores what happens after death within Shakespeare's work including his well-known plays and poems, as well as less frequently studied or performed works
  • Covers some of the most memorable moments in Shakespeare's plays: ghosts, witches, demons, and characters who seem to return from the dead
  • The first book-length study of the topic, synthesizing existing research on death, the supernatural, religion, and memory
  • At the intersection of religious studies and literary studies and tackles the enduring question: what happens after death?
  • Written in an accessible style that is ideal for students and teachers

About the Author(s)

John S. Garrison, Associate Professor of English,, Grinnell College

John S. Garrison is Associate Professor of English at Grinnell College. He is the author of Friendship and Queer Theory in the Renaissance and Glass. He is also co-editor of two edited collections, Sexuality and Memory in Early Modern England: Literature and the Erotics of Recollection and Making Milton: Writing, Publication, Reception. Professor Garrison has held fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, Beinecke Library at Yale University, California Humanities Institute, Council of Independent Colleges/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Folger Shakespeare Library, Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Medieval Academy of America, Medieval Association of the Pacific, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Newberry Library.

Table of Contents

    Introduction: The Undiscovered Country
    1:Contemplating Death's Approach
    2:At the Gateway to the Afterlife
    3:Dialogues with the Dead
    4:Resurrecting the Dead
    5:Achieving Immortality
    Further Reading


"...the book as a whole lives up to the promise printed on its back cover to "encourage us to engage with the author's work with new insight and new curiosity," and I came away with a new appreciation of how Shakespeare navigated the troubled waters of religious doctrine and cultural ideology in the early modern period regarding death and the afterlife." - Sharon Emmerichs, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Renaissance Quarterly