Shakespeare lived in a time of extreme religious conflict. England endured rapid and violent shifts between official Catholic and Protestant identities in the sixteenth century, and the relative stability of Queen Elizabeth’s reign was still characterized by religious dissent. There are no doctrinal commitments evident in Shakespeare’s works, but his plays react to the tumultuous environment, reflecting a thoughtful engagement with contemporary religious and political issues. John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments presented a history of English martyrs, and its striking images demonstrates the power accorded to the printed word. Religion was also tied to international economic and political conflicts. Richard Knolles’s General History of the Turks provided a crucial context for Shakespeare’s exploration of these issues in Othello.