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A Daily Reading Plan for Shakespeare’s Works

couple of years ago, having twice gone through the Bible on daily reading plans, I wanted to tackle Shakespeare’s complete works with similar discipline. Unfortunately, after searching high and low, I could find no daily reading plan for Shakespeare. So I created one, and read all the works in 2013—even the plays Shakespeare c0-authored—in less than half an hour a day. Continue Reading »

Ralph Fiennes’ CORIOLANUS

I’ve finally now seen the recent film production of Coriolanus , starring and directed by Ralph Fiennes, and it is as I feared , a failure. It’s one of these updating adaptations of a Shakespeare play—in this case the politics and warfare of the early Roman city-state gets refitted . . . . Continue Reading »

Coriolanus for Christmas

Color me quite nervous, after watching the trailer of the forthcoming film version of Coriolanus linked to here. It seems to be the tired old shtick where you adapt Shakespeare’s Romans or Danes or Scots by dressing them up in modern military uniforms, which tends to convey the idea that the . . . . Continue Reading »

Thy Canonized Bones

The Quest For Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome by Joseph Pearce Ignatius, 216 pages, $19.95 In The Quest for Shakespeare , Joseph Pearce claims that the “real Shakespeare” was a secret Catholic. Pointing in the preface to his own “robust muse” and “Bellocian . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare’s Religion

In 1613, at the end of his career, Shakespeare joined John Fletcher to dramatize the reign of Henry VIII—the king who broke with Rome and started the Protestant revolution in England. The play ends with Thomas Cranmer’s rhapsodic paean to the once and future queen, Elizabeth, who would . . . . Continue Reading »

The Age of Shakespeare and the Trial of Man

Unlike its English and American counterparts, Scottish law allows three verdicts in criminal trials: innocent, guilty, and not proven. Several years ago, amateur Shakespeareans convoked moot courts in this country to decide who wrote Shakespeare’s plays: Was it the man from Stratford, or was it . . . . Continue Reading »

The Prince and the Pastor

Eugene Peterson has commented on the unhappy fact that modern pastors have become “spiritual technologists” who reduce pastoral care to “running the church” and problem-solving. “The secularized mind,” he writes, “is terrorized by mysteries.” Those in its grip “deny or ignore the . . . . Continue Reading »

Victims Unlimited

In this highly individualistic age, it is probably safe to assume about every victim what Tolstoy at the beginning of Anna Karenina assumes about every unhappy family: that each is unhappy in his or her own way. This could mean that to think about victimization now is to be overwhelmed with an . . . . Continue Reading »

Suffering Humanity

It is not hard to imagine the common sense reaction to the news that a distinguished historian had attempted to cover the history of human suffering in a little over two hundred pages. What have humans ever thought, done, or made that is not directly or indirectly involved with suffering in one or . . . . Continue Reading »

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