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Old October 9th, 2012, 09:19 PM   #1
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Was Shakespeare a Catholic?


His parents were. His father knew some of the people executed for the Guy Fawkes plot. Shakespeare was married by a high church Aglican priest who was not the nearest clergyman. Shakespeare's daughter was also a Catholic.

Not really clear what if any religious beliefs he had from his plays, but his family appears to have been Catholic.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 10:49 PM   #2

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It is possible, though it was a dangerous thing to be a Catholic in Shakespeare's day. But he would have grown up knowing people who had been raised as Catholics, and there would have been some old people who could remember pre-Reformation England, and there was still a strong Catholic presence in England at the time he was born. He could have been influenced by people who had been Catholics, or still practised in secret. If his parents were Catholic, they would have needed to keep quiet about that, as anti-Catholic feeling in England grew steadily during the later part of Elizabeth's reign.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 10:50 PM   #3

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Is being a Catholic an issue about him? He's awesome and nothing can change that fact.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 11:53 PM   #4

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Not an issue, but what he might or might not have believed in is interesting. And if he was a Catholic that means he was living a dangerous secret life.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 01:27 AM   #5

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and when did becoming a Catholic is dangerous? It is not exempted from committing sins but calling it to be dangerous is not fair, because whose life is not?
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Old October 10th, 2012, 03:20 AM   #6

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Whether Shakesphere was a Catholic or not I don't think anything was documented down. Nobody got on a soap box and said that they were Catholic in the day's of Elizabeth I or James VI/ I. In some of the old manor houses there are what is known as priest hole's where the priest used to hide when a house was being searched. There priests had a very dangerous life, I will look for more links about this.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 03:30 AM   #7

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Quote:
and when did becoming a Catholic is dangerous?
It could be dangerous in Shakespeare's time because the pope had declared that the Queen of England could be legitimately deposed and, in effect, killed; religion had become intimately tied up with politics as in the Muslim world nowadays.

As far as I can see, it is impossible to tell anything about Shakespeare's religious views from his plays.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:24 AM   #8

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I have found a very interesting link here about priest holes and secret hiding places. Some of the old manor houses and castles had places of worship hidden away and religious relics could be hidden away within a few minutes of a search.
Secret Chambers and Hiding-Places
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:36 AM   #9

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I once lived in a house with a priest hole, it was under a passage-way, and very claustrophobic; rough stone walls with clay at the bottom, no room to sit upright.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:44 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
I once lived in a house with a priest hole, it was under a passage-way, and very claustrophobic; rough stone walls with clay at the bottom, no room to sit upright.
I have always been fascinated by those parts of an old building, one can only imagine what it was like living as a Catholic in those days.
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