Shy of Retiring

Graeme Hunter on the Tensions Between Pensions & Treasures in Heaven

Shakespeare certainly warned against it. Against retirement, I mean. His greatest tragedy, King Lear, could be subtitled “The Tragical History of Early Retirement.” You remember how, at the outset of the play, Lear confesses that retirement is his “darker purpose.” He intends first to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. Then:

. . . ’tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age;
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburdened crawl toward death.

True, he little guesses how black the sequel . . .

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Graeme Hunter is a contributing editor to Touchstone and Research Professor of Philosophy at Dominican University College in Ottawa. He is the author of Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought (Ashgate).

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