Give America Cordelia, We Need Her Just Now (King Lear)

Israel was on the ropes, God sent Deborah, and Israel was saved. France was ruined, God sent Joan and France was saved. If tempted to despair, then do not. God will send us His woman and God knows America needs her just now. Shakespeare understood this pattern in history better than any writer. He demonized [Read More…]

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When Things Seem to Turn out Badly, They May Turn Out Well (King Lear)

If you were in King Lear’s family, the play is a tragedy. If you were the average Englishman, then the play is a miracle of divine goodness. Seeing this goes a long way to answering one worry some have about God, evil, and God’s goodness. Seeing God’s plan in action in a short period of [Read More…]

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Don’t Rule By Tricks and Fear (King Lear)

Good luck if an organization is run by a man who wants the treats of power, but not the work. You will need it. Worse luck if you live or work in a culture of fear where the boss demands loyalty that he tests through tricks, arbitrary rules, and where hurt feelings can be fatal. King [Read More…]

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Deliver Us From the Pursuit of Deadly Evil

Deliver us from evil the Lord’s prayer says, but often we rush to evil. Tragic to watch, worse to live through, many of us run to the sin that will destroy. This is bad enough, but the harm done to others is the greater evil. Pity Hamlet if you must, but Ophelia is the victim and [Read More…]

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Love Is Destroyed by the Lust for Control (Venus and Adonis)

Love does not exist where there is a lust for control. If the insights of Saint Paul on love do not convince a Christian, then he has a problem.  The last thing a lover would ask the beloved is to be “in charge,” because love demands nothing. A lover might be in charge in the work world, [Read More…]

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The Toxic Fruit of Revenge (Titus Andronicus)

Humans do terrible things and the desire for vengeance is powerful.* Christians are commanded to love their enemies and do good to those who do harm to us personally. Jesus said: 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for [Read More…]

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Zootopia and the Need for Reality (Pericles, Prince of Tyre)

Disney created a clever world for the film Zootopia where non-human animals have learned to live in imperfect harmony. This has happened because the “predators” have ceased to kill and become like “the prey.” This is the first Disney film that is as funny, well animated, and voiced as the worst of the Pixar films . . [Read More…]

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Taming Me (Taming of the Shrew)

Shakespeare was not infallible and The Taming of the Shrew is full of his limitations. Just as his biology was flawed, so his view of women was often wrong. He was not limited by his Christianity as much as by defects in a culture that was imperfectly Christian: a society based on muscle power will [Read More…]

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The Jolly Jokes of Virtue (Merry Wives)

The wages of virtue is jollification. This isn’t obvious, because we sometimes confuse not sinning with virtue. No manikin has ever sinned outside The Twilight Zone, but no dummy has virtue either. Goodness is beautiful and beauty is fun. Obviously, a church whose symbol is a cross and who experiences martyrdom warns that things do not [Read More…]

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Killing Socrates (On Phaedo)

Athens had quite a few people who wanted Socrates dead. He went around asking tough questions about the democracy in Athens. His questions would have been acceptable, Athens was pretty tolerant of weird ideas, but they kept challenging the very basis of the city. Athens was built on an educational system that exploited students. It [Read More…]

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