Sponsored by Belmont’s Honors Program and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Writer-in-Residence and Director at Center for Faith at Culture at Aquinas College Joseph Pearce recently presented at Belmont on Shakespeare’s King Lear. The Nashville Shakespeare Festival is performing the play at Belmont’s Troutt Theater this month, the first professional production of the play to be seen in Nashville in more than 100 years.
From Pearce’s talk, Shakespeare’s existentialist masterpiece explores filial relationships and mental illness, while illustrating the full range of human behaviors from wretched cruelty to perfect love. King Lear tells the story of the madness of an ancient British king who abdicated his throne and gave away his land to his scheming daughters. According to Pearce, Lear had to learn the difference between “worldly wisdom” and “unworldly wisdom.”
An England native, Pearce is editor of the “St. Austin Review,” series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions and executive director of Catholic Courses. Pearce is the author of many books including “The Quest for Shakespeare,” “Tolkien: Man and Myth,” “The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde,” “C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church,” “Literary Converts,” “Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton,” “Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile” and “Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc.” His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Polish. Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”