Sarah Hodgson

Sarah Hodgson

Shakespeare Institute
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Procuring Immortality: Eschatological Reform and the Pursuit of Worldly Fame in English Renaissance Literature
SupervisorsProfessor Tom Lockwood and Professor Gillian Wright
PhD Shakespeare Studies


  • BA (Hons) English Literature, Durham University (2016-2019)
  • MA Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham (2019-2020)


I am a doctoral researcher at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, and my research is funded by the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.

In 2016-2019, for my undergraduate degree, I read English Literature at Durham University. My undergraduate dissertation, entitled 'Gospel and Genre: The Christ Narrative in Shakespearean Drama', examined the changing role of the gospel narrative across Shakespeare's tragedies, comedies, and late romances.

In 2019-2020, I completed a Master's degree in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute. I graduated with a Distinction and was awarded the Sir Stanley Wells prize for outstanding scholarly work in my dissertation. My dissertation, entitled '"Remember Me": Religious Reform, Revenge Politics, and the Denial of Death in The Spanish Tragedy, Titus Andronicus, and Hamlet', considered how changing doctrinal attitudes towards the dead were reflected in Renaissance revenge drama and argued that revenge essentially functions as an act of remembrance, performed in defiance of Reformed Protestant eschatology.

My PhD thesis develops the research of my MA dissertation and examines how Renaissance dramatists depicted post-Reformation eschatology and secularised quests for post-mortem fame.


My thesis investigates how early modern citizens envisaged death and the afterlife, exploring how the changing religious culture of the English Reformation(s) influenced traditional eschatological beliefs. My thesis argues that Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists responded to ecclesiastical changes within the ceremonial remembrance of the dead by portraying characters who seek to dictate their own post-mortem legacy prior to death, to secure their immortality by secular means.

Other activities

  • Registrar for the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, Shakespeare Institute, 2022


  • '"Are we all met?": Responding to Shakespeare's Canon through Online Community Performance', in Lockdown Shakespeare: New Evolutions in Performance and Adaptation (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2022). (Contributor)

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