NOTE: This 2-lecture course is excerpted from the 8-lecture course Shakespeare's Catholicsm: A Critical Analysis of the Bard's Life and Plays taught by Joseph Pearce. Click here to purchase the full course.
Who Was William Shakespeare?
In order to read a literary text well and objectively, we must read it, as far as possible, through the eyes of the author. We need to understand not only who William Shakespeare was, but what his beliefs were, and how those beliefs are present in his works.
The Simple Facts
Follow Professor Joseph Pearce as he illuminates the surprising evidence—often ignored or denied by so-called Shakespearean "scholars"—that William Shakespeare was, in fact, an active Catholic in Elizabethan England. Explore the fascinating details of his life, including his Catholic education, his recusant parents and family, his friendship with Jesuit martyr St. Robert Southwell, and his purchase of the Blackfriars Gatehouse in retirement. Along the way, learn why theories that William Shakespeare was not the true author of his plays are preposterous.
How We Can Read His Plays
Honest scholars and students need not be Catholic to see the Catholicism evident in Shakespeare’s life and work. We only have to consider the evidence for Shakespeare’s Catholicism and then expect to find The Bard's faith reflected in his work. Consider why it should come as no surprise then that the timeless teachings and worldview of the Catholic faith course through the lines of some of the greatest plays ever written and offer a beautiful framework from which to interpret all great literature.
- Joseph Pearce