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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 07/08/08 07:19:30 PM

Shakespeare, Catholic?

An old argument has a new proponent.

Zenit interviews Joseph Pierce today:

.... The reason that Shakespeare's Catholicism has been largely unknown is due to a combination of factors. First, Catholicism was illegal in Shakespeare's time, which necessitated that all Catholics had to keep the practice of their faith a secret.
Second, the evidence for the Bard's Catholicism was studiously ignored by Shakespeare scholars during the two centuries following his death due to the anti-Catholic bias of scholars during this period. Third, much of the irrefutable documentary evidence for Shakespeare's Catholicism did not come to light, or was not properly understood, until fairly recently.
Finally, the belief that Shakespeare was a secular humanist or an atheist is due to a subjective misreading of his work by secular critics, who see only their own prejudices reflected in his plays. These misreadings are exposed by the weight of documented historical evidence that Shakespeare was a believing Catholic....
The evidence that Shakespeare's family were militantly and devoutly Catholic is overwhelming. His mother's family was one of the most notorious Catholic families in England, and several of Shakespeare's cousins were executed for their involvement in so-called Catholic plots. Shakespeare's father was fined for his Catholicism, as was Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna. The discovery of a spiritual will, signed by Shakespeare's father, also points unequivocally to his Catholicism....

(Thanks, Carl.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Tue. 07/08/08 07:19:30 PM
Categorized as Historical & Literary.


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