Despite what many modern critics say, Shakespeare's plays are written from a profoundly Christian perspective. This site presents literary criticism demonstrating that. To submit your essay for publication (arguing either for or against this position), email us - kevin @

Shakepeare's Christian Humanism

Brief Remarks on Shakespeare's Christian Humanism by Dr. Colin Jory

Shakespeare's Christian Humanism


Colin Jory

Even if Shakespeare had been careful to exclude anything gratuitously Catholic from his plays, they would still be profoundly Catholic. I think The Lord of the Rings provides a useful parallel in this regard, since Tolkien did take care to include nothing which was overtly and ostentatiously Christian or Catholic, yet declared in his correspondence that the work is "thoroughly Christian and thoroughly Catholic".

In both cases the key to the effect is the Christian Humanism -- the understanding of what man most deeply is and what he is called to be; of what is truly important and what merely superficially so; of what is conducive to happiness and trust in human relationships, and what destroys such; of what Virtue looks like ("show virtue her feature"), and how it can be not merely fleeting and fragmentary but stable, integrated, and always profoundly satisfying and reassuring; of the existence of an invisible moral universe and moral order, accessible to the properly-tuned mind and demanding of allegiance, and so on.