“Othello” in a Nutshell

By |2020-11-17T11:07:35-06:00November 16th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Great Books, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

In his tragedy “Othello,” Shakespeare censures the age in which King James I renewed the persecution of Catholics in England, with a tale of darkness, told with the doom-laden and crushing weight of the playwright’s own heavy heart. Othello is the first of a triumvirate of tragedies written by Shakespeare during a particularly dark [...]

Constancy and Coleridge

By |2020-10-07T14:38:10-05:00October 10th, 2020|Categories: Great Books, Literature, Poetry, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Shakespeare|

As Samuel Taylor Coleridge expresses in his poem “Constancy to an Ideal Object,” we might find in art the most constants, idealized in our creations, which piece together some meaning of truth amid a world of change where it might appear that nothing has meaning. Although this essay will be about Samuel Taylor Coleridge [...]

Shakespeare’s Farewell

By |2020-08-10T15:44:15-05:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, England, Great Books, History, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

“The Tempest” is indubitably the final play that William Shakespeare wrote. Why did Shakespeare, who was still in good health, bow out in such an apparently premature fashion? What might have induced such a decision to leave his career in theatre? Now my charms are all o’erthrown, And what strength I have’s mine own, [...]

“The People”: Sheep and Feathers

By |2020-07-15T12:29:01-05:00July 15th, 2020|Categories: Democracy, Freedom, Government, Great Books, Monarchy, Politics, William Shakespeare|

Abstract law or the worship of a document is not sufficient for guidance of a people, nor are the paltry checks of public shame and dread enough to deter criminality. We stand a far greater chance of learning wisdom from William Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” than we do from listening to the countless talking heads [...]

Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”: A Comedy of Errors?

By |2020-04-25T21:06:15-05:00April 25th, 2020|Categories: Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

Perhaps Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" is really just a mess. For all his brilliance, the Bard stitched together four different plots, threw it all together, writing for the actors he had on hand, and the result is a hodgepodge of a play. If it is a comedy, then is it simply a comedy of errors? [...]

Shakespeare’s Sonnets: The Secret to Immortality

By |2020-04-24T19:04:26-05:00April 25th, 2020|Categories: Imagination, Literature, Poetry, William Shakespeare|

William Shakespeare (baptized April 26, 1564, died April 23, 1616) is arguably the greatest writer in any language. Shakespeare’s classical poetry is not only one of the most exalted examples of what an immortal sense of creative identity can accomplish, it is a symbol of the artist’s immortality, and timelessness itself. As today’s coronavirus [...]

Homage to Shakespeare

By |2020-05-14T17:08:10-05:00April 25th, 2020|Categories: Glenn Arbery, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare, Wyoming Catholic College|

The first spark of genuine engagement with great writers most often comes from a teacher, and the ever-fresh immortality of the great work has its ironic contrast in the aging and death of those who made the introduction. So it is for me with Shakespeare, who was first truly impressed upon my imagination during [...]

The Best Shakespeare Story Ever

By |2020-04-22T12:05:00-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, England, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

Marchette Chute’s “Shakespeare of London” is a delight to read. With a fluid narrative, Chute has produced a fascinating wealth of research in a most readable form. Shakespeare of London, by Marchette Chute (397 pages, E.P. Dutton and Company, 1949) It was a classic when it was first published in 1949, but it remains [...]

Antony and Eros: A Suicide Pact

By |2020-04-21T09:45:10-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Love, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue, William Shakespeare|

There are none so blind as those who can only see themselves. This is the tragedy of narcissism or what the psychologist Paul Vitz has called selfism. The modern narcissist no longer looks at himself in a pool of water, or even in the mirror; he sees himself in countless selfies, the icons of [...]

Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity

By |2020-06-09T11:03:05-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Classics, Culture, Literature, William Shakespeare|

Jonathan Bate’s wide-ranging and capacious knowledge of classical antiquity is what used to constitute the core of an education in England. That makes him an excellent guide to the territory he unveils in “How the Classics Made Shakespeare,” as he surveys the manifold ways in which Shakespeare drew upon classical sources. How the Classics [...]

Who Is Queen Mab?

By |2020-04-22T18:25:36-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, William Shakespeare|

In his collection of essays, Soliloquies in England, George Santayana dedicated some pages to a piece titled “Queen Mab” presumably after the enigmatic faery who is mentioned by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.[1] The essay turns into an analysis of British literature, which I take to mean that Santayana saw some form of greater [...]

Shakespeare on Love and War

By |2020-10-24T08:47:16-05:00February 5th, 2020|Categories: Great Books, History, Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

What hath Shakespeare to do with the politics of regime change? Given the long and unsuccessful history of what we call regime change, from the installment of the Shah over Persia, to the Bay of Pigs, to Libya, one questions the sanity of anyone who routinely calls for “regime change.” Yet long before our [...]

Shakespeare and the Saints

By |2019-10-28T15:19:26-05:00October 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 |2019-10-30T17:42:37-05:00October 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 [...]

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