Shakespeare's Reformation

978-1-58731-817-7; 978-1-58731-799-6
New Books
Hardback $32.00; ebook $20.00
Edited by Lee Oser, 200 pages, 6" x 9", Pub date: October, 2022

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Shakespeare's Reformation

Christian Humanism and the Death of God

Ranasinghe, Nalin

This is a posthumously published collection of Nalin Ranasinghe's sharp analyses of Shakespeare's five heavy dramas: Hamlet, King John, Julius Caesar, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra. True to form, Ranasinghe serves up philosophical and literary genius for the reader's benefit and delight.


"I will try to claim that Shakespeare offers an esoteric vindication of the human soul itself, not merely poetry, against the looming backdrop of the Counter-Reformation in Europe and the Puritan perversion of English Anglicanism. Neither the Scholasticism of the former nor the fundamentalism of the latter had any sympathy for the claims of men like Bottom or the Bastard to see beyond the confines of scripture and sacred social structures. While poetry could indulge in metaphysical fantasy, it could not take on the status quo without the assistance of more learned allies; this Shakespeare seems to do by his re-telling of Classical and English history. As disingenuous as Bottom (or Erasmus) in this artful use of ignorance and folly to conceal his serious goals, Shakespeare is thus tying poetry to history and giving us an alternate, if playful, account of Western Civilization."