William Shakespeare

Shakespeare and the Saints

By |2019-10-28T15:19:26-06:00October 31st, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Sainthood, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

When most of us think of Shakespeare we don’t immediately connect him with the saints. We might think of the play Sir Thomas More, on which he collaborated with other contemporary playwrights and which was banned during his lifetime for its volatile pro-Catholic perspective. We might connect him with the positive portrayal of Edward [...]

The Witches of “Macbeth”: A Weyward Translation

By |2019-10-30T17:42:37-06:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tragedy, William Shakespeare|

Enter three sisters as thunder and lightning clash above. Their very presence inspires both fear and wonder of the unknown. William Shakespeare’s broad audience of commoners, merchants, and nobility all readily acknowledge their supernatural presence, the stuff of superstition. But what was Shakespeare’s intent for their appearance? What are they? Imagine a smoking cauldron [...]

The Death of Eros & the Tragedy of Love in “Antony and Cleopatra”

By |2019-10-11T12:59:16-06:00October 10th, 2019|Categories: Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Politics, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

Antony and Cleopatra is one of the most mature of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. As such, it is arguably one of his finest and deepest works. Pride, love, and the Fall all factor into the play as much as does the contest between temporal politics and eternal love. Antony and Cleopatra are passionate and energetic [...]

If Shakespeare Was a Woman, Might Jane Austen Have Been a Man?

By |2019-06-01T22:41:22-06:00June 1st, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Jane Austen, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors, Shakespearian Authorship, William Shakespeare|

We live in a mad, mad world where anything goes and many things have gone. One of the things that appears to have gone is a sense of sanity. Take, for instance, a recent essay in The Atlantic which claims to show that William Shakespeare was in fact a woman.[*] The essay itself, which was [...]

The Underground Shakespeare

By |2018-12-22T09:16:58-06:00December 21st, 2018|Categories: Books, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, England, History, Literature, Mystery, Senior Contributors, Theater, William Shakespeare|

Despite their obscurity, The Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis were Shakespeare’s best-sellers. But why were these poems so wildly popular? In Shadowplay—her first book about the secret messages in Shakespeare’s plays—Clare Asquith explains what sparked first her imagination and then her research: In the early 1980s she and her husband attended a [...]

“Othello” and the Devil Inside

By |2018-11-17T22:38:30-06:00November 17th, 2018|Categories: Books, Character, Ethics, Evil, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Literature, Tragedy, Virtue, William Shakespeare|

In Othello, William Shakespeare, the philosopher of everyday life, holds up a mirror to us and shows us what human beings are capable of. Beneath our most pleasantly cultivated exterior, there often lurks a serpent… William Hazlitt is widely recognized as one of the greatest of Shakespearean critics. Yes, there is Dr. Johnson; yes, [...]

Honor and Fame

By |2019-10-16T15:49:36-06:00September 17th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Conservatism, Culture, Glenn Arbery, Homer, Plato, William Shakespeare, Wyoming Catholic College|

Should honor and fame no longer be ends of ambition in such a world? The ancient philosophers doubted the ultimate merit of fame, but they also looked for the most spirited students, those most inclined to “undertake extensive and arduous enterprises"... In response to my essay about baptizing ambition, a friend from Boston College recommended [...]

Can Shakespeare Save Civilization?

By |2019-07-18T15:53:03-06:00September 15th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Civilization, Conservatism, Culture, Joseph Pearce, William Shakespeare|

Perhaps an apology might be necessary for the sheer audacity of beginning any essay with such a question and with such a seemingly absurd claim. Of course, Shakespeare cannot save civilization, at least not on his own. Perhaps we should rephrase things a little, asking a slightly different question: Can Civilization be Saved without Shakespeare? [...]

Conscience in Montaigne’s “Essays” & Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”

By |2018-08-23T10:33:20-06:00August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Ethics, Evil, Mitchell Kalpakgian, Morality, William Shakespeare|

Despite the number of times the witches repeat “Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” Macbeth testifies to the objectivity of natural law and universal knowledge of good and evil known to conscience and written on the heart and mind of all persons... In the culture of sixteenth-century Europe that witnessed revolutions in geography with old [...]

“Romeo & Juliet”: A Tragedy, Not a Romance

By |2018-07-14T08:12:35-06:00July 11th, 2018|Categories: Joseph Pearce, Love, Tragedy, William Shakespeare|

Seeing something noble in Romeo and Juliet’s self-obsessive and self-destructive passion is to see it with eyes that are blind to the moral that Shakespeare teaches… Romeo and Juliet is not the only Shakespeare play that the modern world, modern critics, and modern teachers get wrong. Truth be told, Shakespeare abuse is rampant. Just about [...]

The Nietzschean Shakespeare

By |2018-06-14T10:11:26-06:00June 13th, 2018|Categories: Books, Ethics, Friedrich Nietzsche, History, Philosophy, William Shakespeare|

Friedrich Nietzsche has no explanation for the process by which Christianity conquered Rome, by which the strong accepted the morality of the weak. When it comes to a depth of understanding of the development of Christianity, William Shakespeare is the true superman… Shakespeare’s Rome: Republic and Empire by Paul A. Cantor (University of Chicago Press, [...]

The Good Man’s Bad Cause: A Lesson From “Julius Caesar”

By |2019-03-07T10:46:22-06:00May 22nd, 2018|Categories: History, Robert E. Lee, William Shakespeare|

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus, the noblest Roman of them all, ends his life working with people he cannot respect, haunted by visions of the friend he has murdered, and in a cause that fails and deserves to fail… The man fighting for a bad cause is always in a hurry, chased by the guilt of [...]