The situation in Shakespeare's day

Protestant resurgence

With the protestant Elizabeth I on the throne, services were again held in English and a new Book of Common Prayer (i.e. prayers to be used uniformly throughout the Church of England) was introduced in 1559.

Elizabeth reigned until 1603, when she was succeeded by her protestant relative, James, King of Scotland

The influence of church on Shakespeare

Throughout his life, therefore, Shakespeare heard the words of the Bible in English and listened to the scholarly and poetical language of the Book of Common Prayer, both of which had a considerable influence on his own written style.

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