William Shakespeare is not in need of an explanation or an introduction, and no amount of analysis or commentary would suffice in terms of accentuating the depth of creativity and intellectuality behind Shakespeare’s works. Amongst the top eight referenced and quoted sources in the Western world, Shakespeare not only fathered and catapulted English culture and language, but in a sense, Shakespeare also blurred the line between imagination and reality. Shakespeare’s characters and symbols which are embedded in his poetry and plays come to life and can be deciphered if one were perceptive enough to decipher them in real life.
Hence, Shakespeare is of an eternal and immortal character and essence, and with the eternal and immortal character and essence of Shakespeare comes his everlasting and eternal spiritual authority. As one commentator wrote in terms of the eternal and immortal character and essence of Shakespeare:
“Shakespeare, at length thy pious fellows give
The world thy works; thy works, by which outlive
Thy tomb thy name must: when that stone is rent,
And time dissolves thy Stratford monument,
Here we alive shall view thee still; this book,
When brass and marble fade, shall make thee look
Fresh to all ages; when posterity
Shall loathe what’s new, think all is prodigy
That is not Shakespeare’s, every line, each verse,
Here shall revive, redeem thee from thy hearse.”
As Martin Lings wrote: “Shakespeare…had no illusions about his scope of reason. He knew that since reason is limited to this world it is powerless to ‘justify the way of God.’” Hence, Shakespeare’s eternal and immortal character and essence and thus his spiritual authority stem from his ability to escape what we would consider to be ‘reason’ or ‘rationality.’ As mentioned before, Shakespeare was able to blur the line between imagination and reality. And in this regard, Martin Lings wrote:
“For modern man the supreme distinction is between ‘fiction’ and ‘truth,’ as we say, between art on the one hand and ‘reality’ on the other. Now naturally our medieval ancestors made the same distinction, but for them it was not so sharp. They were not in the habit of speaking and thinking of life as ‘truth.’ By truth, by reality, they meant something different; for them the supreme distinction was not between life and art, but between the next world, that is, Truth, and this world, which is the shadow of Truth.”
Lings added: “The sharpness of that distinction (i.e., the distinction between the next world and this world as the shadow of the next world) took the edge off all other distinctions.” In turn, Shakespeare “had power to draw upon the transcendent.” Shakespeare’s characters such as “The Fair Youth” and “The Dark Lady” and “The Green-Eyed Monster” and a number of others “are not so much fabrications as ‘creations.’”
By creation, one could imply that Shakespeare has brought these characters to life and into reality. One must note that creation or the ability to create something or bring something to life and into reality is a characteristic of a supernatural and transcendent power. One can produce or manufacture certain things, but one cannot create certain things such as water or the human spirit. This implies that Shakespeare had “contact with a transcendental source” and in turn, Shakespeare was a conduit and communicator of “mysteries” and “secrets” of a divine, supernatural, and transcendent order. And through his transcendence, Shakespeare enables us to transcend as well and enables us to become “God’s spies” per se.