Shakespeare Follow-Up [Randomonium]

Good news for all of you Shakespeareans out there. Credenda Agenda has now updated its website and the article arguing for Edward de Vere as William Shakespeare is available (as is the rest of the magazine). Head on over and have a peek. I’d recommend subscribing, perhaps with a small contribution to their ministry.

While I’m shamelessly promoting the work of others, I’ll also mention that the article “How to Think About the War and Other Manifestations of Globaloney” is a fine example of political thinking and has ramifications far beyond the Iraq War. It addresses how we as Christians ought to think about politics, economics, and global issues. For the INSIGHT students listening in, reading Wilson on the subject might give some valuable perspective as we study Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Voltaire, as well as those involved in the American and French Revolutions.

Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Who-fore Art Thou, Shakespeare? [Randomonium]

I was an English Minor in college. I took a class on Shakespeare. I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) many of Shakespeare’s plays (though I can’t say as much for the sonnets). Hamlet, Henry V, The Merchant of Venice: loved ‘em. (And for the record, I do know that my play on the famous line from Romeo and Juliet in the title is nonsensical.)

I seem to remember my professor at one point mentioning that some scholars didn’t think that Shakespeare actually wrote the plays that were attributed to him. He never pursued it, and as a lowly undergrad, I didn’t know how to pursue it. So imagine my surprise when the most recent edition of Credenda Agenda (the website hasn’t been updated in a while; I think they’re going through an overhaul at the moment) included an article from Doug Wilson arguing that William Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author of “Shakespeare’s” works and that the true author was a Puritan (of sorts) named Edward de Vere.

Here’s a sketch of the argument against Shakespeare of Stratford and for Edward de Vere.

Against Stratfordian Shakespeare

We have no evidence that Will of Stratford was well-educated, and the author of the plays clearly is.

He had no training in the law and Shakespeare’s plays are filled with legal expertise.

He never travelled abroad, least of all to Italy, a place that appears in detail in the plays.

He was a commoner and the plays demonstrate an aristocratic outlook.

He left no books or manuscripts in his will.

For Edward de Vere of Oxford

He knew the city of Venice intimately.

He studied law at Gray’s Inn, explaining the regular presence of “legal-ese” in the plays.

He was captured by pirates in the English channel, much like Hamlet.

He believed a false accusation against his wife, much like Othello.

His uncle, Arthur Golding, who may have tutored de Vere as a boy, introduced the form of the sonnet to England.

His copy of the Geneva Bible is heavily marked up in many of the same passages that appear in the plays.

That’s just a thumbnail sketch. There’s more in the article, including responses to possible objections, and an explanation of how de Vere may also have been somewhat of a Puritan. To get the rest of the details, you’ll have to order the magazine.

For now, I’ll simply throw it open: Any English lit buffs who can verify or deny the argument? Comment away.

Giving Gratitude A Helping Hand [Randomonium]

One of my aims in blogging is to try to increase gratitude in the hearts of Christians. God is very kind to us in innumerable ways every day, and all we can do is murmur about how bad it is. I regularly pray that God would make me a more grateful person, not simply that I would thank him for huge things (like the little boy in my wife’s womb), but that I would just be a more grateful person.

I want to find evidences of grace everywhere. In that spirit, watch this clip from Conan O’Brien the other night as Louis C.K. gives gratitude a helping hand.

Top 25 Conservative Movies of Last 25 Years

Over at NRO’s The Corner, they pulled together the Top 25 Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years. (By “conservative,” I believe they mean politically, socially, or economically, as opposed to theologically.)

25. Gran Torino
24. Team America: World Police
23. United 93
22. Brazil
21. Heartbreak Ridge
20. Gattaca
19. We Were Soldiers
18. The Edge
17. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
16. Master and Commander
15. Red Dawn
14. A Simple Plan
13. Braveheart
12. The Dark Knight
11. The Lord of the Rings
10. Ghostbusters
9. Blast from the Past
8. Juno
7. The Pursuit of Happyness
6. Groundhog Day
5. 300
4. Forrest Gump
3. Metropolitan
2. The Incredibles
1. The Lives of Others

For a list of Also-Rans, see here.

What others would you add to the list?