The Problem of Sin and Crime in Domestic Tragedy

Sandra Clark


This paper examines a group of domestic tragedies in relation to their context in post-Reformation England at a time when crime was not readily differentiated from sin. It reconsiders the homiletic framework proposed by Henry Hitch Adams, but argues that theconception of 'simple truth' which the plays purport to present is complicated by the interaction between the demands of the law and the action of God's providence. The operations of providence are not always easily defined, and, in a world where sinning is inescapable, justice is sometimes contingent.


sin; crime; providence; law; penitence; remorse; confession

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