February 22, 2005
Once again I have completely missed the religious meaning in a text and had to read something like David N. Beauregard's "New Light on Shakespeare's Catholicism: Prospero's Epilogue in The Tempest" to understand it. I don’t know why I just don’t see the religious aspects in works- they are so obvious once pointed out.
I did not know there is such a debate on the religion of Shakespeare. To me, it really doesn’t matter but to understand the religious meanings in his works, I suppose it is helpful to know.
Beauregard tries to make a convincing case that there is a strong Catholic theme in Prospero’s epilogue. He cites passages supposedly about death and prayer and their relation to the Catholic religion. While I understand his point, I do not exactly agree with it. I am more for the school of thought that thinks the epilogue is Shakespeare’s good-bye to theater. I agree with what Valerie wrote, “I had assumed that it was just Prospero asking forgiveness of the audience, and not of God. If you think about it though, any audience is sort of like God, being that they can see everything that's going on in the play.” The religious elements may be in the speech in some way yet is not the main point I think he was trying to make. If Shakespeare was so Catholic, his religious background may have just slipped in, even unbeknownst to him. When anyone writes their background and convictions sway the writing in some way- and not always intentionally. Shakespeare used the religious images in the epilogue as just that, imagery. It helped convey his real intent of bidding farewell to the audience.
Posted by VanessaKolberg at February 22, 2005 10:11 PM
I agree with what you are saying, I think I got a little random on my blog connecting it, but if Shakespeare does have this background; don't most people write about what they know? We saw that when reading Flannery O'Connor, which I think Val also mentions. I do think though that there is more than just religion behind what he is saying.
I had never really thought much about Shakespeare's religion, either, Vanessa. But after reading this article and taking another look at "The Tempest," I think there is definitely some religious significance to be found.
You reminded me of that point that Foster was making in his book... That writers often let things from their own personalities creep into their writing, unconsciously.
Considering that the theatre seemed to be a much larger part of Shakespeare's lifestyle than any religion (at least, as far as the facts prove), I'd have to agree that Shakespeare's main objective in "The Tempest" was to deliver a heartfelt farewell to his art.
I'm a 16 year old writing a paper on shakespeare and religion for believe it or not -my shakespeare class. what i have come across seems to be that shakespeare is a master dramatist to an exceptional degree, his characters all take on different roles, sure there are reoccurances but could it not be found that shakespeare's writings were not so much his beliefs, and that when religion is applied to his text it is only for ideas relevant to building his characters role? Like Henry V mainly. Now this does seem irrelevant to youre commenting on the tempest, but i really just thought it would be cool to comment on a blog other than livejournal or myspace. thanks
Im 14 years old and ready to begin study on shakespeare but I have too many nasty thoughts in my brain and therefore I want to find someone male or female that is interested in shakespeare in order to form a relationship based on shakespeare.
Shakespeare might be a great playwright or maybe even the greatest playwright but Eskarabajo sucks I hate that band!! I would rather suck on a flower or go watch the chics in Puerto Rico, while dancing some reggaeton. I've been planning to go to Amsterdam and blaze some blunts while I study up on Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.Hopefully I'll find myself a Juliet , but lately I just listen to Sean Paul and Estradasphere.
Me vale madre ,Shakespeare se puede ir a cojerse su propia verga y tambien no me gustan los chocolates, sabe , Un dia voy a hablar de cosas raras o mejor ahorra si estoy hablando o para hacer mas exacto escribiendo mi teoria de el mundo corrupto en West Shores High School .