miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2016
Shakespeare is still being hounded by his enemies 400 years after his death
Shakespeare: A Life Clouded in Mystery
by Joseph Pearce
St. George’s Day, the feast day of England’s patron saint, is Shakespeare’s birthday and, believe it or not, is also the day on which Shakespeare died. Apart from the astonishing coincidence that Shakespeare died on his own birthday, it is also singularly appropriate that England’s greatest poet should have been born and should have died on the feast day of her patron saint. It seems appropriate, therefore, that we should celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by reminding ourselves of the enduring stature of the Bard of Avon.
Arguably the three greatest writers of all time are Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare. Of the first of these, very little is known. Homer, it seems, has disappeared amidst the murk and mists of history. So great and wide is the chasm that separates him from us that he is almost invisible. What we know of him, for what it’s worth, is gleaned from allusive and elusive clues embedded in his work. Thus, for instance, it is widely presumed that, like Milton, he was blind. If so, like the blind seer Teiresias, he sees more in his blindness than those blinded by their own unwillingness to see.
Much more is known of Dante, a devout Catholic and a disciple of the scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas, who lived much of his life as a political exile from his beloved Florence. Perhaps the fact that he is a thousand years closer to us than Homer might explain the greater knowledge. If so, why is it that such mystery continues to surround the seemingly elusive figure of William Shakespeare? In terms of the time that has elapsed from his time to ours, it would seem reasonable to presume that we should know more about the Bard of Avon than about the divinely-inspired poet of Italy, the latter of whom lived three hundred years earlier.
Much of the mystery surrounding Shakespeare is linked to the age in which he lived. It was an age in which a large and alienated section of the population was considered outlaws by the state. In Elizabethan and Jacobean England it was a criminal offense to practice or propagate the Catholic religion, an offense that, for priests, was punishable by death. It is for this reason that England’s greatest poet remains largely unknown. He is unknown, first of all, because he sought to keep his religious life unknown, as far as possible, from the authorities. He is also unknown because later generations of Englishmen erected a myth in the nation’s likeness, ignoring or smothering the Bard’s “treacherous” popery in the interests of a nationally acceptable patriotic iconography. He became the posthumous victim of “patriotic correctness.”
The overwhelming evidence for the Bard’s Catholicism is rooted in the solid facts of his life and in the theological, philosophical and moral truths to be found in his work.
The factual evidence is to be found in documents, such as Shakespeare’s last will and testament and in the spiritual last will and testament of his father; in the persecution of Shakespeare’s family and friends for the practice of their faith; in court cases in which Shakespeare became embroiled; in property that he purchased; and in the sort of acquaintances and friends that he valued, and the type of people whom he considered enemies. All of these historical facts, pieced together meticulously by historians, paint a picture of Shakespeare’s life that points to his papist sympathies.
Read more: www.theimaginativeconservative.org