Shakespeare, A Closet Catholic?

For the ongoing revolution against traditional authority it is often difficult to know whom to blame the most, but certainly the academic community's skepticism, suspicion, and mockery of traditional values is one cause. Deconstructionist scholarship, ideologically "correct" teaching, and the habit of glib irony and irreverence run at flood tide on our campuses. Within the literary canon, writers such as Spenser, Milton, Johnson, Walter Scott, and Tennyson have either disappeared into the hands of specialists or are mined and exploited for bizarre qualities or views.

The single remaining literary exception to this discarding, revision, and reinterpretation of texts is the work of Shakespeare, whose piety and traditionalism somehow retain a unique, and uniquely moral, force. Of the villains in King Lear, for instance, Alfred Harbage said that "even that curious product of our times, the liberalism-gone-to-seed which automatically defends anything from treachery to sadism providing it savors of non-conformity, has found little to say for these insatiable" figures. Shakespearean drama remains a perennial morality play that reaffirms the Natural Law to tens of thousands of readers and spectators each year, despite radical teachers, directors, and "gay" actors. It was a supreme imaginative stroke of genius for Aldous Huxley to use the writings of Shakespeare as the last evidence of spirituality in his...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here