THE SLAVE OF LIFE by Marion Parker


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Every age, to quote the author, creates Shakespeare in its own image. And in this book, Shakespeare, the humanist, the renaissance man, is overlooked for Shakespeare, the Catholic, the Thomist, the theological thinker- heir to the thought of the Middle Ages. This is indeed a new point of view, but as a universal figure- Shakespeare lends himself to many interpretations. And if corruption and damnation, atonement and grace are one's chief concerns, there is ample material in the plays to illustrate them. It is chiefly a matter of emphasis. But even granting that Shakespeare was a Catholic or a recusant, that his mind must naturally have been steeped in the Catholic ideology of the ages preceding him, it nevertheless distorts his material to pour it into so theological a mold. A scholar's study, overloaded with quotations from Aristotle, St. Augustine, etc., it also wanders far afield and perhaps might be more persuasive if it were less insistent. As for the chapters on Shakespeare's Catholic family background, that seems to be any one's guess as so many of the facts of his life are. Limited.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 1955
Publisher: Macmillan