Perhaps, perhaps. But apart from the passages in King Lear and The Tempest, the attempts to establish the direct influence of Montaigne on Shakespeare have never seemed fully and decisively convincing. The problem is only in part one of dating: Though Florio’s Montaigne was published in 1603, at least three years after the probable composition and performance of Hamlet, Shakespeare could have seen a manuscript of Florio’s translation which, licensed for publication and referred to by Cornwallis in 1600, was evidently in circulation well before the first printing. The more intractable problem has to do with a shared historical moment, a shared grappling with pressing questions of faith, consciousness, and identity, and even, thanks to Florio, a shared language. Did Shakespeare really need Montaigne to think about the relation between imagination, ecstasy, and the beating of the pulse?