Shakespeare - religion.
August 20, 2007
Santa Cruz, California
Received by FAB
I am here, William Shakespeare.
Don’t be perturbed if you read something from a scholar which seems to contradict what I am channeling. Remember that much is conjecture, and I am the source.
You have read, in E.A.J. Honigmann’s book, Shakespeare: the “lost years,” that Sir Thomas Hesketh, who did engage me as an actor apprentice, would not have done so had I not been Catholic.
Well, the circumstances were not very rigorous from a religious point of view, even though there was increasing repression of Catholics. In my heart, I never as a teenager or youth had religious convictions, despite my frequent exposure to Christianity as a child.
I did retain the desire for drama, which was fed by the dramatic stories of the Bible. But when I reached the age when I could think for myself, I did not see religion as an important expression of who I was. This attitude actually stayed with me all my life long.
One cannot infer religious convictions from my plays, for at times my characters railed against the Pope, and at other times, there is a mood more friendly to Catholicism. No, I never saw myself as a religious polemicist, but only as a dramatist.
I will say, however, that I did perceive the unreligious way the Pope had dominated politics, and this is reflected in some of my characters’ words. This struck me as most unchristian. But, having been raised in a household fairly friendly to Catholicism, I very early had tolerant attitudes to it as well.
I saw people first, and not their religion. Religion was simply not important to me as a person. I saw myself as a playwright, a poet, and an actor. I recognized the importance religion had for others, and used this in my plays. But I generally had no axe to grind, only a desire to produce good theater.