Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Shakespeare's Personal Faith
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0425  Tuesday, 8 March 2005

[1]     From:   John D. Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 4 Mar 2005 13:56:34 -0500
        Subj:   Shakespeare's personal faith

[2]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 5 Mar 2005 14:38:41 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0405 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[3]     From:   Ira Zinman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 6 Mar 2005 19:17:25 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0405 Shakespeare's Personal Faith


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John D. Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 4 Mar 2005 13:56:34 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare's personal faith

Marvin Krims raises an interesting question about Shakespeare's personal
faith. I do not see how it can be answered in the complete absence of
any statement aside from the plays and poems themselves. We can say that
Shakespeare did not write as flamboyantly as Marlowe, where questioning
faith is concerned, but does it follow that Shakespeare's personal faith
was more orthodox than Marlowe's? I think there's room for generalizing
more fruitfully about a consistent religious and ethical vision in the
plays and poems, but it has to be done with great tact and care, and
even when it is done, it doesn't tell us what Shakespeare believed; it
just tells us what he wrote. This goes for the prevailing assumption
that he was deeply skeptical as well.

John Cox
Hope College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 5 Mar 2005 14:38:41 -0000
Subject: 16.0405 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0405 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Marvin Krims asks ...

 >What do members of this List think about Shakespeare's personal faith as
 >can be gathered from the little that is known about him as a person and
 >what can be inferred from his writings. I am not interested in the issue
 >of Catholic vs. Protestant but rather what can be said about his own
 >spiritual beliefs.

If Marvin is not "interested in the issue of Catholic vs. Protestant" he
is not going to get very far in answering this question.  When WS was
born the vast majority of his fellow Englishmen and women were of the
"old faith", hoping for a return to Marian Catholicism once Mary Stuart
(next in line) became queen; when WS died the majority of these men and
women had changed their allegiance to the new Anglican faith.  This
cultural revolution, the major event of WS' lifetime, had a profound
effect on both art (there is no British pre-reformation art in the
National Gallery) and literature (which blossomed to fill the images
vacuum) and would have had a profound effect on WS' personal faith.

Peter Bridgman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ira Zinman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 6 Mar 2005 19:17:25 EST
Subject: 16.0405 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0405 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Marvin Krims submitted the following:

 >What do members of this List think about Shakespeare's personal faith as
 >can be gathered from the little that is known about him as a person and
 >what can be inferred from his writings. I am not interested in the issue
 >of Catholic vs. Protestant but rather what can be said about his own
 >spiritual beliefs.

My response to Mr. Krims is based on writing the deeper spiritual
interpretations to be found in Shakespeare's Sonnets.  Shakespeare's
Sonnets reveal to me a man whose consciousness of the Spiritual is
deeply engrained within him.   He is not only well versed in scripture,
as several Sonnets and passages from his plays indicate, (see also
Noble, Shaheen, Battenhouse, Milward, Lings, Marx, Huxley, G. Wilson
Knight, to name a few), but his sense of the esoteric nature of Man's
battle between the  egotistic self versus the Spiritual is understood,
as by someone who has tread this path and successfully overcome many of
its travails. Finally, the devotional aspects that I find in the Sonnets
remind me of the Nobel Laureate RabindranathTagore, and many of the
revered Christian writers who were Shakespeare's predecessors and
contemporaries.

I appreciate Mr. Krims inquiry, as I believe the depth of Shakespeare's
spirituality is not often enough appreciated.

With best wishes,
Ira Zinman

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.