This Strange Eventful History: A Philosophy of Meaning : Pairs of Thinkers in Philosophy, Religion, Science and Art

This Strange Eventful History: A Philosophy of Meaning : Pairs of Thinkers in Philosophy, Religion, Science and Art

This Strange Eventful History: A Philosophy of Meaning : Pairs of Thinkers in Philosophy, Religion, Science and Art

This Strange Eventful History: A Philosophy of Meaning : Pairs of Thinkers in Philosophy, Religion, Science and Art

Excerpt

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they
have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many
parts, his acts being seven ages…. Last scene of all, that ends this strange
eventful history is second childishness and mere oblivion sans teeth, sans
eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

—Shakespeare. “As You Like It,” Jacques. Act II Scene 7.

AIMS

Shakespeare is a fellow Englishman and Midlander of mine, as I was born approximately 30 miles from Stratford upon Avon, his birthplace in leafy Warwickshire. As a boy, I frequently fished in the idyllic River Avon on whose banks the bard would have walked. Shakespeare had a unique ability to describe the human condition, but he appears to have taken care not to disclose too overtly his own deeper convictions about ultimate meaning in the world about him. There is little specific mention in his works of religion and personal philosophy. There was the ever present risk of finding one’s head impaled on the gates to London Bridge (after the unspeakable horrors of being hanged, drawn and quartered) if one spoke out of turn in relationship to the current ruler’s beliefs. The tension lay between the “Old Religion” of Catholicism incorporating the Latin Mass with the doctrine of the saints, versus Protestantism using the English Prayer Book and the plain table rather than the ornate altar. Shakespeare lived during turbulent times. His parents started their lives in the time of Queen Mary, a Catholic monarch (nicknamed Bloody Mary), while he is said to have produced his . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.