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What was Shakespeare's worldview?
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In England, during Shakespeare's lifetime, there were many political, accademic, artistic, scientific and religious changes occuring. The world was literally expanding through the discovery of new lands. It is reasonable to assume that Shakespeare's worldview was a reflection of this expansive time where questions were being asked on all fronts of human knowledge and expression. He was a great observer of human interaction and of the world around him...as is seen in his work. It seems he was fascinated by a world full of potential mysterious possibilities. It could even be argued that his worldview reflects an intrigue or possible belief in magic. Magical elements appear in Hamlet (the ghost of his father), Macbeth (witches), and fairies also make an appearance in his work.
Although not a lot is known about his life, it is known that he often went to taverns, stayed in lodging-houses, and frequented theatres and their backstages. His life was busy with the work of writing, observing, and recording/responding to what he saw. He was ambitious to create, and this ambitiousness and belief in his ability and his work speak mountains about his worldview -- that issues can be raised and enjoyed and there is freedom in expression. Possibly, he lived and acted on the worldview that there are endless possibilities to be explored and realized.
Posted by dogtales on August 15, 2008 at 12:48 PM (Answer #1)
High School Teacher
Shakespeare had a realistic, before-his-time modern view of the world. We see this in his attitude toward his characters. Women were portrayed as strong; even though, male characters did not see them as such, and often they used derrogatory femine-related remarks to insult other men. "Romeo, your tears are womanish." This was expected behavior for the time of the plays. Modern readers of the plays see beyond this. If women could have acted in his plays, Shakespeare would not have had a problem with it.
Shakespeare also seemed to have a problem with status. He recognized social positions, but also saw no one as supreme to anyone else. His plays demonstrate that even kings are sinful and must answer for their demons.
Posted by ajstumbo on August 18, 2008 at 1:13 AM (Answer #2)
It has often been suggested that Prospero in The Tempest is the most autobiographical of Shakespeare's characters and that the nearest we have to W.S.'s worldview are the opinions of Prospero.
Posted by frizzyperm on August 19, 2008 at 9:51 PM (Answer #3)
well... most of Shakespeare's information was lost centuries ago even his birth date was lost which really sucks because right now I'm doing a project on him but also one person can't have his own world view because World view is collective knowledge gathered BY MULTIPLE PEOPLE/ GROUPS so Shakespeare's world view is mearly a factual opinion that we probably can only make hypothesises of based on his work which is about 300 pieces of literature
Posted by grd8student on January 2, 2009 at 5:00 AM (Answer #4)
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