Special Issue of http://episteme.revues.org
Profane Shakespeare: Perfection, Pollution, and the Truth of Performance
For its 33rd issue (Spring 2018), the online peer-reviewed journal Etudes Epistémè (www.episteme.revues.org). seeks articles examining Shakespeare’s treatment of the notions of perfection (or “purity”) and pollution (or “impurity”), understood not only along traditional moral and religious lines, but also, more “profanely”, in aesthetic and hermeneutic terms. Etudes Epistémè is DOAJ- and MLA- listed.
In recent years, much attention has been devoted to the question of Shakespeare’s religious beliefs, leading to a polarization of opinions. Though Shakespeare belonged to a deeply Christian culture and though his language is in part shaped by all-pervasive Christian texts, evidence of Shakespeare’s “true faith” remains necessarily inconclusive. The playwright and poet situates his own truth elsewhere, in his art of poetry and drama, and in the time and act of performance, rather than in any sort of religious canon or eschatological horizon, implying the notions of completion and perfection. If Shakespeare so broadly and keenly “speaks to us” to this day, it is perhaps because of how profane his art is.