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world-order which gives, yea, compels his freedom. This is the ethical or institutional environment in which the individual is placed, but which he must create too; by his Deed he makes it, yet it is everlastingly made just as well.

A most important element in Shakespeare is this Ethical World, the realm of institutions. It is the eternal foundation upon which his dramas rest, the divine order in which they move. We see not one character merely, but a whole society, of which the characters are but atoms; this society has its own life and law, it has an order, it is a world. The outcome of a Shakespearian play is not simply that somebody perish or be saved, but it shows also a sense of Providence, a revelation out of the bosom of the Infinite. When terrestrial institutions fail, or become corrupted by guilt, as is the case sometimes, then we behold another institution above them all, appearing from the celestial spaces as it were, and ordering anew the perverted man and his disarranged economy. This supreme institution is continually manifesting itself in Shakespeare; in fact the conflict between lower secular institutions is always driving them forward into the presence of the highest institutional arbiter.

The elements of the Shakespearian world-ordermay be reduced to two: Lustice and Love. Justice holds man to accountability, brings home to him his act, whereby he may perish and thus be

come tragic. But in truth, Justice seeks, by its discipline, to free man of error and guilt, seeks to make him transcend his limitation, which holds him in wrong and ignorance, and to have him rise to his true being. Then Love appears in the divine order and accepts him, when he has freed himself of his weakness and sin; nay, it extends to him an ever-present hand and helps list him out of his crushing limitations. Even beneath Justice there is Love, for Justice is remedial in its essence, and punishes the weak and wicked deed in order to rid the man of it forever.

Not without deep insight does Ulrici say that Shakespeare's Comedies are based upon divine Love, while the Tragedies reveal divine Justice. Still we must not forget that in Comedy, too, there is Justice, the foolish or guilty man has his folly or guilt served up to him in strict measure; but this Justice_destroys the weak or bad act in the man, and not the man himself, thus freeing him and not undoing him. The comic character is, accordingly, not allowed to perish, but is rescued from guilt, from folly and even from the external complications of Chan ce.

In Shakespeare, as already noted, there are some fifteen plays which we class under the head of Comedies. Among them exists much diversity in color, style, depth of thought and completeness of treatment. Also they were written at very different periods of the Poet's life. Still they have

a common principle as distinct from the Tragedies, and this principle we must find and express. Were we asked to give one word in which may be centered the unity, and out of which may be unfolded the variety, of Shakespeare's Comedies, that word would be Mediation. They are all, mediated in one way or another, and they may be, taken together, called the Mediated Drama of Shakespeare.

Through this word we pass out of Tragedy into Comedy. The connecting link between the two we can find in a number of places in the Poet's works. The thought of mediation for the guilty act through repentance occurs. often in Shakespeare's Tragedies, there is a point at which the tragic character, in its career of guilt, is brought face to face with a change of life; if the man repent he will be saved, if he persist he must perish. Let us take the play of Hamlet where the king says:

Try what Repentance can; what can it not?

Yet what can it, when one cannot repent? The king is seeking to get rid of the guilt of murder; if he repent, he will not be tragic; but he does not repent, and so he perishes. In like manner, the Queen has repentance held up before her conscience by her son, but she follows it not, and must die in consequence. So, too, Hamlet himself will not follow either conscience or revenge. In fact if these three characters had re

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pented, the play would not have been a tragedy, but a mediated drama. Compare the case of Leontes in Winter's Tale. He quite reaches the extreme limit of ethical violation, but he repents at the critical moment, when the last warning has been given, and thus he is saved. At this point

see Tragedy passing over into Comedy in Shakespeare.

I. TRANSITION FROM TRAGEDY TO COMEDY. We are now to move out of the gloom of Shakespeare's Tragic World, and to enter a new sphere which shows man not destroyed, but-redeemed. Still he is seen to have weakness, error, guilt; but at the same time he is seen to be in the process of purification. Comedy in its essence is purgatorial; it portrays the individual in his finitude, but also portrays him overcoming it; the comic person in Shakespeare has an infinite nature lurking in his finite one, whereby he transcends his limit and is enabled to see his folly, sin, and ignorance, and often to get rid of them through his comic discipline.

It has been already pointed out in the previous volume that the peculiarity of the tragic character is the intensity with which it seizes and carries out its purpose

— an intensity overcome only by death. But is there no reconciliation?" "Must the conflict of principles, and, indeed, of valid. principles, end in destruction to man? Must that upon which his rational existence reposes over

whelm him in ruin? Such questions have all one object — a Mediation which saves the individual, they are the earnest inquiries of the soul after a plan of salvation. In one sense even Tragedy ends in reconciliation, it brings back harmony to the Ethical World after some great disturbance, but it is a harmony through death. This solution, therefore, is negative, nay, self-destructive; the object of the Ethical World must be to save man, else it must itself perish. Can there not be, then, a reconciliation which will preserve the individual? Yes, there must be, is the answer of the modern world and of Shakespeare, the answer also of Christianity through its Divine Mediator.

It is at this point that we see Shakespeare and the Christian doctrine to be one in meaning though different in expression. Both are seeking to utter the great fact of Mediation through repentance unto men, the one in a religious, the other in a secular way.

This Mediation carried out in dramatic form Shakespeare undoubtedly called a Comedy. So Dante called his great Christian poem a Comedy, though he gave another reason for so doing. Dante's poem, too, shows Mediation in the supreme religious sense, it unfolds the struggle and happy outcome of the Christian world. But in Shakespeare the religious form is concealed by the throbbing vigorous life of the secular world, which, however, belongs to Christendom.

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