Shakespeare’s plays contain 14
resurrections, 12 Apocalypses, 5 Virgin Mary allegories, at least 40 Christ
figures and 3,000 other religious references. They were written using
14 different translations of the Bible. Yet none of the plays ends in
Paradise. Why do the Marys (Juliet, Ophelia, Desdemona) die before giving
birth to the savior? Why are the Messiah figures (Laertes, Shylock, Bottom/Pyramus)
defeated? Why is the playwright parodying the Gospels?
This overview of the Tour explores some of the different scenes from the Shakespearean plays each of which parodies a different part of the gospel story. Each tableau will be located in a different part of this amazing 1890s building, and allows the audience to investigate what each means and to see them in any order or watch the same one multiple times. Some favorites are theThree Magi from "Titus Andronicus," the parody of the Trials of Jesus in "Merchant of Venice," the Crucifixion scene of the death of Bottom/Pyramus from "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" and the Nurse’s scene as The Annunciation from "Romeo and Juliet." See the illustration at left and the IPhone video here.
Like Marlowe, Shakespeare regards the Gospels as a Roman literary creation --- a view that is being rediscovered by modern NT scholars.