Shakespeare, Humble & Ardent
Any Quest to Understand the Bard Requires Humility & Ardor by Michael Platt
If we knew who Shakespeare was, might it help us read his works? In "Shakespeare's Religion" (First Things, May 2008), Professor Robert Miola summed up the little that is known about Shakespeare's personal worship and reviewed the interesting, but mixed and inconclusive, inferences from the plays.
Shakespeare the man may have been a Catholic, but the record does not show it. The spaces between the dots in the life are, as Miola maintains, much wider than the dots, and some of the dots are not dots at all, but crumbs that scrupulous scholarly birds have eaten up before bold enthusiasts could trace their way back to safety, and so an impartial observer must, like a Scottish judge, declare, "not proven." It is a lonely stance.
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