Catholicism key to mystery of Shakespeare

  • November 20, 2014

Before I became convinced that William Shakespeare was a Roman Catholic, I was one of those conspiratorially minded chaps who believed Shakespeare was not the person who wrote the greatest single cache of plays in the English language. 

The body of work attributed to Shakespeare is indubitably history’s greatest in artistic accomplishment and variety, and the author is an epoch-shaping literary colossus of the stature of Homer and Dante. One can only marvel at the range of this very singular genius’ sympathies and insights. 

Contrast the aching depiction of first love in Romeo and Juliet with the iron-in-the-soul pessimism of King Lear; the moon-drenched hilarity of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the oppressive menace of Othello or Macbeth. The great psychological motherlode of Hamlet juggles more themes than most playwrights tackle in their entire careers. And the only printed document that beats a script of Hamlet for more perfectly polished aphorisms to the page is a copy of Bartlett’s or The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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