Brightest Heaven of Invention
A Christian Guide to Six Shakespeare Plays
Shakespeare was, as Caesar says of Cassius, “a great observer,” able to see and depict patterns of events and character. He understood how politics is shaped by the clash of men with various colorings of self-interest and idealism, how violence breeds violence, how fragile human beings create masks and disguises for protection, how schemers do the same for advancement, how love can grow out of hate and hate out of love. Dare anyone say that these insights are irrelevant to living in the real world?
For many in an older generation, the Bible and the Collected Shakespeare were the two indispensable books. Thus their sense of life and history was shaped by the best and best-told stories. And they were the wiser for it. Brightest Heaven of Invention provides high school students analyses of six of Shakespeare’s plays. Henry V, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, and Much Ado About Nothing.
Also includes review and discussion questions for anyone who wishes to incorporate them into high school curriculum.
About the Author
Peter J. Leithart (PhD, Cambridge) is President of Theopolis Institute in Birmingham, Alabama and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. He is the author of numerous books on theology and literature, including The Baptized Body and Ascent to Love. He has also authored articles in journals such as Pro Ecclesia, Journal of Biblical Literature, Westminster Theological Journal, and First Things. Peter and his wife Noel have ten children and a fetching collection of grandchildren.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Christian Approach to Literary Study
Section 1: History
- The Mirror of All Christian Kings: Henry V
- Alas, Thou Hast Miscontrued Everything: Julius Caesar
Section 2: Tragedy
- The Serpent Now Wears the Crown: Hamlet
- If It Were Done When ‘Tis Done: Macbeth
Section 3: Comedy
- Till She Stoop She Must not be Full-Gorged: The Taming of the Shrew
- May I Be So Converted and See with These Eyes?: Much Ado About Nothing