To Be or Not To Be

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” Julius Caesar

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet

American Minute with Bill Federer

Apr. 23 – William Shakespeare & acknowledgments of faith in his plays

William Shakespeare was born APRIL 23, 1564.His 37 plays impacted world literature.

He married Ann Hathaway, had three children, moved to London, and became shareholding director of Globe Theater, writing such classics as Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In 1591, Shakespeare introduced his play, King Henry the Sixth, in which he wrote in Part II, act II, scene i, line 34:

“Blessed are the peacemakers on earth.”

In line 66, he wrote:

“Now, God be praised, that to the believing souls
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!”

In scene iii, line 55, he exclaimed:

“God defend the right!”

In Part III, act V, scene v, line 7, he penned:

“So part we sadly in this troublous world
To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.”

William Shakespeare wrote in King Richard the Third, 1592-93, act I, scene iv:

“O, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though ’twere to but a world of happy days.”

William Shakespeare wrote in Richard the Third, act I, scene 4:

“Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope for any goodness,
By Christ’s dear blood shed for our grievous sins
That you depart and lay no hands on me.”

In King Richard the Second, 1595-96, act IV, scene i, line 97, Shakespeare wrote:

“Many a time hath banished Norfolk fought
For Jesus Christ in glorious Christian field,
Streaming the ensign of the Christian Cross,
And there at Venice, gave
His body to that pleasant country’s earth,
And his pure soul unto his captain Christ,
Under whose colors he had fought so long.”

In King Richard the Second, 1595-96, act IV, scene i, line 170, Shakespeare wrote:

“So Judas did to Christ: but He, in twelve,
Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none.
God save the king! Will no man say, amen?”

In King Richard the Second, 1595-96, act IV, scene i, line 239, Shakespeare wrote:

“Some of you with Pilate wash your hands,
Showing an outward pity.”

In the play, The Merchant of Venice, act I, scene ii, line 59, Shakespeare penned:

“God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man.”

In The Merchant of Venice, act I, scene iii, line 99, Shakespeare wrote:

“Mark you this, Bassanio:
The devil can cite Scripture for his own purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.”

In The Merchant of Venice, act IV, scene i, line 184, Shakespeare wrote:

“The quality of mercy is not strained,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;

It blessed him that gives and him that takes:
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;

His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,

But mercy is above this sceptered sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself,

And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore…

Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.”

In his play, King Henry the Fourth, Part I, act i, scene 1, line 18, published in 1598, Shakespeare wrote:

“Therefore friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,
Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engaged to fight….
To chase these pagans in those holy fields.
Over whose acres walk’d those blessed feet,
Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail’d
For our advantage on the bitter cross.”

In King Henry the Fifth, 1598-1600, act III, scene vi, line 181, William Shakespeare wrote:

“We are in God’s hand.”

In King Henry the Fifth, 1598-1600, act IV, scene i, line 309, Shakespeare wrote:

“O God of battles! steel my soldiers’ hearts;
Possess them not with fear; take from them now
The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers
Pluck their hearts from them.”

In Hamlet, 1600-01, act I, scene I, Shakespeare wrote:

“Some say-that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated
The bird of dawning singeth all night long.”

In Hamlet, 1600-01, act III, scene i, line 150, Shakespeare wrote:

“I have heard of your paintings too, well enough;
God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.”

In Hamlet, 1600-01, act III, iv, line 149, Shakespeare wrote:

“Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what’s past; avoid what is to come.”

In Hamlet, 1600-01, act V, scene i, line 84, Shakespeare wrote:

“A politician…one that would circumvent God.”

William Shakespeare wrote in Othello, 1604-05, act I, scene i, line 108:

“You are one of those that will not serve God if the devil bid you.”

In Othello, 1604-05, act II, scene iii, line 106, Shakespeare wrote:

“Well, God’s above all; and there be souls must be saved,
and there be souls must not be saved.”

In Othello, 1604-05, act II, scene iii, line 293, Shakespeare wrote:

“O God! that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains; that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts.”

William Shakespeare wrote in King Henry the Eighth, 1613, act III, scene ii, line 456:

“Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.”

William Shakespeare remarked:

“God’s goodness hath been great to thee;
Let never day nor night unhallowed pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.”

Four years before the Pilgrims landed in America at Plymouth Rock, Shakespeare died on this same day, APRIL 23, in 1616. He was 52 years old.

In his Will, Shakespeare wrote:

“In the name of God, Amen! I, William Shakespeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warr., gent., in perfect health and memory, God be praised, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say,

First, I commend my soul into the hands of God, my Creator, hoping and assuredly believing, through the only merits of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlasting, and my body to the earth whereof it is made.”

Carved on his tomb in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-on-Avon, England, is:

“Good Friend For Jesus Sake Forbeare, To Digg The Dust Enclosed Heare. Blese Be Ye Man Spares Thes Stones, And Curst Be He Moves My Bones.”

News from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: