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Tag Archives: Shakespeare
In the Preface to his eight-volume edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1765), the literary critic Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) had some opinions about what makes Shakespeare so good. Here they are. See if you agree (and notice how many of them are … Continue reading
__________ Talk about deep doo-doo! So much of life, philosophy, and critical thinking resonates in this ironically captioned image. Take the atheist-theist debate, for example. Is God, though silent and invisible, lurking beneath the yellow noise of the cosmos? Do … Continue reading
In the preface to his eight-volume edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1765), the literary critic Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) had some opinions about what makes Shakespeare so good. Here they are (and notice how many of them are grounded in mimesis): Shakespeare … Continue reading
How much can you change your life and those of others, really? That’s a question I’ve been gnawing on a bit after seeing this past weekend an outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Shakespeare, famously, was obsessed … Continue reading
Hamlet speaking in Act V, scene ii of Hamlet: If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.
Literary critic Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), in the famous preface to his eight-volume edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1765), attempts to address the question of Shakespeare’s genius: why have his plays been so captivating to so many for so long? Johnson offers … Continue reading
If a student were to ask me why people, the world over, read and put on performances of Shakespeare’s plays, I would basically say the following: A difficult achievement is universally recognizable. Shakespeare has done something, aesthetically and imaginatively, very far … Continue reading
At Evolution News and Views, IDer William Dembski reflects on the problem of explanatory continuity: Science is not merely about discovering continuities in nature that can be described by a seamless naturalistic story. Sure, areas of science are like that. … Continue reading
Ah, young Hamlet!
Poet Charles Hood’s theory of Van Gogh’s Irises painting at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles: perhaps Van Gogh made his painting after “reading Shakespeare too intensely”
. Poet Charles Hood has of late been immersing himself in the letters of Vincent Van Gogh, and he made a connection that I found quite intriguing between Van Gogh’s Irises painting at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles … Continue reading
Christopher Hitchens: It is the height of immorality to lie to people about what you really know about death
That is, nothing. I agree with Christopher Hitchens that religion is shameless in its manipulations of death fears via the carrot and stick of heaven and hell: it really is a moral outrage. One should never claim more about death—or anything, for … Continue reading
I think that Ross Douthat, in reflecting on the film Avatar, writes rather eloquently of the human existential dilemma: Traditional theism has to wrestle with the problem of evil: if God is good, why does he allow suffering and death? But Nature is suffering … Continue reading
William Carlos Williams’s famous poetic motto was “no ideas but in things,” but as someone who loves philosophy as well as poetry, I like what Elisa Gabbert recently wrote: Here’s what I’d like to see more of in submissions: IDEAS. … Continue reading
And no plan B. In response to the failure of Copenhagen’s climate talks, an editorial writer at Spiegel bemoans humanity: Copenhagen’s collapse merely confirms the opinion of those who view climate change as some pipe dream of scientists, left-wing politicians … Continue reading
I certainly don’t always live up to it, but this quote of Spinoza’s, like Shakespeare’s “to be or not to be”, or the Bible’s “love your neighbor”, is also a taut summing up of one aspect of existence, the intellectual … Continue reading
The New York Times today provides an interesting “history-in-a-nutshell” perspective on the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC): Particle colliders get their magic from Einstein’s equation of mass and energy. The more energy that these machines can pack into their little … Continue reading
I would liken my agnosticism about God and the afterlife to someone who is agnostic about life on Mars. At this point in the 21st century, we have enticing Martian clues about methane on the planet, but nothing definitive (it could be … Continue reading