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KnoWhy #26 - Did Lehi Quote Shakespeare? (2 Nephi 1:14)

TitleKnoWhy #26 - Did Lehi Quote Shakespeare? (2 Nephi 1:14)
Publication TypeKnoWhy
Year of Publication2016
Corporate AuthorsBook of Mormon Central Staff
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
Place PublishedSpringville, UT
KeywordsLehi (Prophet); Plagiarism; Shakespeare, William

Early critics of the Book of Mormon accused Joseph Smith of plagiarizing Shakespeare's "Hamlet" in 2 Nephi 1:14 – "Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return; a few more days and I go the way of all the earth." Recently however, scholar Robert Smith has identified ancient parallels between this scripture and passages in the Bible and other texts. Smith argues that Lehi's imagery of death being the "land of no return" is actually at home in the ancient world, and need not be a plagiarism of Shakespeare.

Citation Key1212

Scripture Reference

2 Nephi 1:14