Shakespeare and the Scientific Revolution

Readers of Shakespeare's works could easily dismiss his interest in science at a time when the Scientific Revolution was happening around him, but author Dan Falk believes that the Bard was well aware of the developments.

In his book The Science of Shakespeare, Falk looks at Shakespeare's grasp of astronomy, a scientific field that was undergoing great changes in the 16th and 17th centuries. He discusses his ideas with Megan Gambino for an article in Smithsonian Magazine.

In the article, Falk says:

You’ve found a small group of scholars who believe they’ve found ties in Shakespeare’s works to science. Peter Usher, an astronomer, for one, has an interesting interpretation of Hamlet.

Peter Usher has a very elaborate theory about Hamlet, in which the play is seen as an allegory about competing cosmological worldviews. There are actually three of them: the old Ptolemaic Earth-centered point of view, the new view of Copernicus and this kind of hybrid view put forth by Tycho Brahe.