This article explores links between the anti-Marprelate polemics and Thomas Nashe’s satire of Puritans and Catholics in The Unfortunate Traveller. In public confrontations with the late Elizabethan church, activist minority religions were co-opting powerful rhetorics of holiness. Analysis is made of episodes in The Unfortunate Traveller where Nashe deconstructs Puritan and Catholic appropriations of the rhetoric of martyrdom and seeks to educate the reader in interpreting or seeing through what he believes are pretended forms of holiness. Making readers aware of false appropriations and performances of holiness involves educating them in the narrative and dramatic conventions that are used to manipulate their opinions and emotions.
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