Shakespeare the Catholic?

Probably not. A few days back, Tim asked if I would solicit Paul Cantor’s opinion on Clare Asquith’s arguments for a crypto-Catholic Shakespeare. Professor Cantor said he hadn’t read her book but has been skeptical (to say the least) of the claim whenever it’s been made by others. He referred me to one of his pieces from the Claremont Review of Books (actually, two of his pieces, but I don’t think the other is on-line) for some of his thoughts on the matter — particularly his thoughts on the anti-Catholic themes of Measure for Measure. He suggested that one reason even left-wing scholars sometimes jump onto the Shakespeare-was-Catholic bandwagon is that it might be the only way they can claim him for a minority group.


One thought on “Shakespeare the Catholic?

  1. Tim July 30, 2006 / 5:10 am

    Thanks for asking Prof Cantor that for me. I have listened to most of the Paul Cantor lecture series and have been very impressed. I wish I could have afforded the air fare from Sydney to attend it. In the Shakespeare lecture I heard him refer to Joseph Sobran’s claim that Shakespeare was really the aristocrat Edward De Veere. Sobran’s Shakespeare lecture is also on Sobran delivers the notable line “He’s here, he’s queer, he’s Edward De Veere.”

    Sobran’s lecture is good at discussing the anti-war aspects of Henry V. Usually the play is portrayed as a bit Anglo jingoistic. There is a PDF file here that uses Henry V to illustrate the just war principles. There is a discussion here of the various political uses, neocon types especially, have made of Henry V in recent years.

    I enjoyed Cantor’s discussion of serials, FOX TV and alike. It would be great to hear what he thinks about the new world of audio and video podcasting.

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