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Hamlet's ChoiceReligion and Resistance in Shakespeare's Revenge Tragedies$
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Peter Lake

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300247817

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300247817.001.0001

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Contemporary resonances

Contemporary resonances

(p.164) 8 Contemporary resonances
Hamlet's Choice

Peter Lake

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that through the figure of the ghost, William Shakespeare deliberately inserted the issue of confessional politics into his plays. It explains Hamlet's relation to Catholicism and whether he, by the end of the play, has been converted or even saved by Christianity. It also points out how Hamlet is suffused throughout with the language, practices and images of the old religion. Within the Catholic context evoked so carefully by the play, the chapter explores Hamlet that comes across as an orthodox believer. It describes Hamlet's belief in purgatory, which has been confirmed or strengthened by his encounter with the ghost and experiences the dread of something after life.

Keywords:   ghost, William Shakespeare, confessional politics, Hamlet, Catholicism, Christianity, Catholic context

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