Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Bard in Persecution

A growing concern seems to be how to live faithfully, hopefully, lovingly, and, indeed, prophetically amidst the lapping, polluted waters of paganism. A supreme exemplar is the Bard himself, William Shakespeare. In the loathsome days of the reign of Lord Cecil, first William and then his son, Robert, Shakespeare remained a faithful son of the Catholic Church an increasing amount of evidence more than suggests.

A grand read is Clare Asquith's Shadowplay – The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare [2005], a painstaking piece of literary detective work. A brief introduction to Asquith's work is found at Godspy, Cracking Shakespeare's Catholic Code: An interview with Clare Asquith.

A highly enjoyable video on the subject is Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare [2003]. Wood's enthusiasm for Shakespeare's work, life, relationships, and "the old faith" are manifest in every step of his "search".

Most importantly, the detestable and boorish brutality of Elizabethan England is not hid from either the reader or the viewer in these resources. "Mary's Dowry" may have been stripped away by the greed of the "New Millionaires" (Belloc). But the Bard lived, wrote, acted, and died a son of the Catholic Church, admired by her flock and her enemies.

Update: The Times Online reports that a Vatican historian has denounced Elizabeth: The Golden Age as a “distorted anti-papal travesty” that risks dividing the West just when it should be rediscovering its “common Christian roots” in the face of Islam. P'haps old Will nudged some folk to go see the film tissue of lies and speak the truth in the face of its tinsel-town tomfoolery.


Carlos Echevarria said...

I love Cate Blanchett but those two movies definitely have typical anti Papal and anti Catholic rhetoric...

EWTN has done a number of shows, as you probably know, indicating as such with Catholic convert and author Guy Pierce?

Athos said...

Right, Carlos. Joseph Pearce's treatment is a great addition too, books and EWTN series.

He was kind enough to read and endorse my book (see here and scroll down). Best