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I would argue that Shakespeare did not really have a worldview. This does not mean that he did not believe in anything, it just means that his beliefs and convictions, whatever they were, did not feed into his work in any appreciable sense. The poet Keats, a great devotee of...

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I would argue that Shakespeare did not really have a worldview. This does not mean that he did not believe in anything, it just means that his beliefs and convictions, whatever they were, did not feed into his work in any appreciable sense. The poet Keats, a great devotee of Shakespeare, praised him for what he called his "negative capability." By this, he meant an ability, one shared by all great writers, to let the mysteries, complexities, and doubts of the world remain as they are—unresolved by the imposition of some ready-made worldview. Shakespeare understood life's inherent complexity. In order to be true to that life, to show it accurately, he had to present it in such a way that it could not be construed as a manifestation of a specific point of view. In that sense, Shakespeare is almost a prototype of the postmodern author, disappearing behind his creation and allowing the text to be interpreted in many different ways.

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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. 

 

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