Shakespeare the Papist
Sapientia Classics Series
Shakespeare, who wrote at the beginning of the long period in which the Catholic faith as violently suppressed in the British Isles, has long enjoyed an iconic status. Some readers have interpreted him as an early agnostic, expressing modern angst about whether anything exists besides "this mortal coil" that seems to be merely "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." In recent years, however, thanks largely to the work of Peter Milward, close study of Shakespeare's plays has raised the question: Was Shakespeare in fact a believing Catholic? To this question, which radically changes the way that Shakespeare's plays should be read, Milward here offers, in his definitive study of the topic, a resounding "Yes."
Peter Milward, SJ is Professor Emeritus of Sophia University in Tokyo. He entered the Society of Jesus at St. Beunos College in North Wales in 1943 and then went on to study scholastic philosophy at Heythrop College, Oxon from 1947-50 and classical and English literature at Campion Hall, Oxford from 1950-54. He taught English literature, with special attention to Shakespearian drama, at Sophia University, Toyko from 1962-96, and then at Tokyo Junshin Womens College, as dean of the faculty of Modern Culture, from 1996-2002. Fr. Milward is the founder of the Renaissance Institute and Renaissance Centre at Sophia University, and also the Chesterton Society of Japan and Hopkins Society of Japan. He is the author if innumerable books and articles both in Japan and abroad, especially on Shakespeare, Hopkins, and Chesterton.