Arjan Plaisier believes audiences who view Shakespeare performances and readers who study the plays deserve better than some of the recent interpretations of the Bard's work. In their attempt to be "modern," these interpreters commit historical amnesia by slighting the Christian ethos of the early Renaissance period in which Shakespeare wrote and by riding roughshod over the religious underpinnings of his plays. This neglect skews the playwright's intentions, confuses the audience, and diminishes the full effect of the play. Plaisier, too, is modern--and in a more profound sense. He sets forth how Shakespeare shapes his plots to conform at an ultimate level to timeless biblical narrative patterns (like Northrop Frye, he regards the Bible as a "code book"), so that there is a "right" ending to the work. And in an Appendix, Plaisier provides some kindly advice to his fellow pastors. You do well, he says to them, to enrich your noble calling with attention to literature. To do this, he says, you will find Shakespeare most helpful. Yes, and Plaisier's perceptive essays point to the deep wisdom in Shakespeare by which we can all live.
About the author
Steve J. Van der Weele is a retired professor of English at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he taught for thirty-four years. He is the author of Literature and Religion as Amiable Companions: A Harvest of Essays and Reflections. A. J. Plaisier is Secretary General of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN). He spent six years in Indonesia before returning for parish work and his present assignment. His dissertation contrasts the views of man in Nietzsche and Pascal.
You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.