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What was Shakespeare's view of life, his philosphy and attitude toward life?

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Most of what is known about Shakespeare's views, philosophy and attitude toward life are inferred indirectly from the themes of his plays and poetry. Nothing is extant or mentioned in history in which Shakespeare gives any kind of an autobiographical account of himself. However, the themes that appear repeatedly in his works do provide some insight into the inner realm of Shakespeare's thoughts.
We know from history that Shakespeare admired Queen Elizabeth I very much and that the admiration was mutual, meaning Queen Elizabeth also admired his work, even attending his plays from time to time. Shakespeare extended this admiration to craft a new definition of women and their role in life.

This is most evident in Much Ado About Nothing in which he names the heroine "Hero" and proceeds to have her play the role that is usually reserved for the valiant hero: she figured out the solution to the problem; she orchestrated its enactment; she set the plot to undo the villain; and she proved the heroine (herself) to be innocent and trustworthy.
This theme of the power and heroism of women is retold in several other plays, such as As You Like It. The concept is notable because it goes against conventional wisdom that had women cast as untrustworthy because they were seen in religious terms as the ones who were beguiled (tricked) into causing the downfall of humanity in the Judeo-Christian creation story.

Other notable themes that reveal information about Shakespeare's personal view, attitude and philosophy are:
1.  The nature of love, which he depicted as needing, first, a reason firmly rooted in valuable character traits and, second, a balance between order and inspiration, as seen in A Midsummer Night's Dream;
2.  Protestantism, which he depicted as a higher moral pathway than Catholicism, as is seen in the Protestant/Luther allusions in Hamlet;
3.  Virtue and madness, which he depicted in plays like Hamlet and King Lear and Macbeth showing that the quest for virtue may drive to madness as surely as the abandonment of virtue may drive to madness, indicating a balance here too is needed for success and sanity.

Another play that reveal his inner thoughts and beliefs is The Merchant of Venice in which he reverses Much Ado About Nothing and explores a hero as a cruel villain by showing Antonio as a heartless man to citizens guilty of nothing while being a loving friend to grasping, incompetent friends.

We might conclude from this that (1) Shakespeare was willing to embrace changes in society as brought about by Elizabeth I's reign and go a step further and see all women in the new light of Elizabeth; (2) he believed love must have reason to exist and be tempered, balanced, by both order and passion (3) he had high ideals of right and wrong and significant Protestant religious faith; (4) perceived virtue as a high attainment and as delicately balanced rightness and vanity.

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What was Shakespeare's philosophy of life?    

Shakespeare expressed his philosophy through his characters in his plays. His philosophy seems to have been cynical and pessimistic. He seems to have been an agnostic, although it would have been unwise for him to express agnostic or atheistic ideas at a time when the church was very powerful and vindictive. He has been called an early existentialist.

Some of his famous soliloquys can be studied for the purpose of deducing Shakespeare's personal philosophy. At least two such soliloquys are to be found in Hamlet. One is Prince Hamlet's famous soliloquy beginning with "To be or not to be: that is the question." (Act 3, Scene 1) Another more worldly one is Polonius's advice to his son Laertes in Act 1, Scene 3, which contains such practical advice as "Neither a borrow nor a lender be" and "Beware of entrance to a quarrel" and ends with the best possible advice that any person could give to another: "This above all: to thine own self be true."

Shakespeare must have been a practical, realistic man as well as a poet and a philosopher. He managed to earn a lot of money during his time as a playwright and theater owner in London, and he retired in comfort in his old age.

One of his most pessimistic speeches is given by the Duke in Measure for Measure:

Duke.  Be absolute for death.  Either death or life

Shall thereby be the sweeter.  Reason thus with life:

If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing

That none but fools would keep.  A breath thou art,

Servile to all the skyey influences,

That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,

Hourly afflict.  Merely, thou art Death's fool,

For him thou labor'st by thy flight to shun,

And yet run'st toward him still.  Thou art not noble,

For all th' accommodations that thou bear'st

Are nurs'd by baseness.  Thou're by no means valiant,

For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork

Of a poor worm.  Thy best of rest is sleep,

And that thou oft provok'st; yet grossly fear'st

Thy death, which is no more.  Thou art not thyself,

For thou exists on many a thousand grains

That issue out of dust.  Happy thou art not;

For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get,

And what thou hast, forget'st.  Thou art not certain,

For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,

After the moon.  If thou art rich, thou'rt poor;

For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,

Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,

And Death unloads thee.  Friend hast thou none,

For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,

The mere effusion of thy proper loins,

Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,

For ending thee no sooner.  Thou hast nor youth nor                                     age,

But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,

Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth

Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms

Of palsied Eld: and when thou art old and rich,

Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,

To make thy riches pleasant.  What's yet in this

That bears the name of life?  Yet in this life

Lie hid moe thousand deaths; yet death we fear,

That makes these odds all even.

 (Measure for Measure, Act 3, Scene 1)

Many more examples of Shakespeare's philosophy can be found in his plays, notably Hamlet,Macbethand King Lear, as well as in some of his sonnets.

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