Frye was born in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1943 he interrupted his studies to enlist in the United States Army and fought at the Battle of the Bulge, winning a Bronze Star. Frye also fought at the Battle of Remagen.
After the war, Frye taught at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He joined Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., but missed teaching. He was Schelling Professor of English Literature University of Pennsylvania from 1965 until his retirement in 1983. In 1978, he co-founded the Center of Theological Inquiry, an independent institution sponsored by the Princeton Theological Seminary.
- Milton's Imagery and the Visual Arts: Iconographic Tradition in the Epic Poems
- Is God a Creationist?: The Religious Case Against Creation-Science
- God, Man and Satan: Patterns of Christian Thought and Life in "Paradise Lost", "Pilgrim's Progress" and the Great Theologians
- The Renaissance Hamlet: Issues and Responses in 1600
- Shakespeare: The art of the dramatist
- Shakespeare and Christian Doctrine
- The Reader's Bible - a Narrative - Selections from The King James Version
- Shakespeare's Life and Times: A Pictorial Record
- Perspective on Man - Literature and the Christian Tradition
- Language for God and feminist language: Problems and principles
- The teachings of classical Puritanism on conjugal love
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