The God Within. The Mystery of the Divine in Shakespeare's Plays

Essay, 2015

10 Pages


The God Within

In the works of William Shakespeare there is often times an air of mystery often equated to forces of occult powers. It is my belief that the mystery conveyed through his plays is not mere tricks to entice an audience. Rather his methods involved a comprehensive understanding not only of human nature, but also of forces of higher powers. These powers are often talked about in religious studies and would have been known to most as “God”. So for the purpose of this essay we will think of God as a force rather than a being, a total and comprehensive all pervasive weaving in the fabric of time. To the person uneducated in the occult powers, it is easy to see the outrageous pieces of his art as magic. Which is like the ultimate cop out, just throwing away its value and meaning to the wind. To read Shakespeare is to feel Shakespeare, not some rational understanding. To read Shakespeare is to transport from the ephemeral material world to the eternal realm of spiritual eternity. The sense that this brings to mind is where the aesthetic pleasure of reading Shakespeare envelops the world. It is why we are still reading Shakespeare today and will continue to do so for quite some time. But to know time is to exist on a different plane than Shakespeare inhabited. For Shakespeare’s world was that of the eternal due to a super conscious understanding of the Divine. More than likely these forces were working through him because he had found a way to open himself up to the muses in order to become a muse himself. In other words we are mere fools in time and Shakespeare suffered greatly to give the world a piece of himself.

To garner an understanding of the divine for ourselves, we must gain perspective on the matters. First and foremost, Shakespeare was an artist, which for the human being is like a tool God uses to become in the world. It seems reasonable to imagine God working strongest on those who are creators. This makes sense because God is described as the ultimate creator, so those created in that image would themselves be given the ability to create. To assume Shakespeare did not know this is to entirely miss what sort of person Shakespeare was. His nature was that of a creator and he spent his whole life creating because that is all he could do once he had surrendered to God. His salvation comes in the fact that we are still reading him today, and do not mistake that this wasn’t his ultimate drive. To be remembered, or in God’s case, to be thought of, is the ultimate gift bestowed upon mankind. A full involvement in the reading of Shakespeare is best supplemented with other knowledge. If we think of knowledge in a philosophical sense then it can be freer, not constricted to various sects of knowledge. Though learning specifics is necessary, such as is the case of particular sciences; true philosophy is to see how it all intermixes. Such is the nature of God, intermixed within and without everything. Therefore Shakespeare, though thought of as a playwright, was most likely very studious in many different fields of learning.

How this created Shakespeare should not be overlooked, for his openness was the key to his success. While he more than likely was heavily influenced by the Catholic atmosphere of his times, his knowledge of God was derived from within himself. He was not satisfied with a casual understanding; he wanted to know these things. Thus, he would have had knowledge of other sects of religion, including Lutheranism, which no doubt struck chords deep within his soul. I imagine he experienced a resonance with these higher powers and committed his whole being to his art. A true artist; not for money, or fame, or anything else someone could conjure up, but for the love of God. This explains the command over love and attraction he possessed and so cleverly expressed through his works. On the level of God, he also saw the inescapable elements of human nature, the feeling of being outside of the womb due to consciousness. The struggle for man to feel or get back to the womb, even though most people would not have considered this, Shakespeare understood what it meant. And thus, he graced us with some timeless tragedies that people can feel, very on the surface level exposure to God compared to his in depth knowing through countless hours of study. Nonetheless it should not be understated to see how powerful his conveyance of this knowledge was made so clear and simple so that everyone could experience it.


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The God Within. The Mystery of the Divine in Shakespeare's Plays
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within, mystery, divine, shakespeare, plays
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Austin Gragg (Author), 2015, The God Within. The Mystery of the Divine in Shakespeare's Plays, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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