Preview
Click here for more Hamlet Essays
Preview

Religion in Hamlet Essay

:: 6 Works Cited
Length: 1156 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is one of the most famous tragedies William Shakespeare has ever written. Found throughout Shakespeare’s tragedy are many religious references. According to Peter Milward, the author of Shakespeare's Christianity: The Protestant and Catholic Poetics of Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet, “From a purely religious point of view, which is more than just biblical, Hamlet is rich in homiletic material of all kinds, reflecting almost every aspect of the religious situation in a deeply religious age” (Milward 9). These pieces of religious literature are crucial to the plot of Hamlet. The religious elements found in this tragedy provide the plot, allusions, and foreshadowing.
One of the very first pieces of Christian evidence provided to the audience in Hamlet is the idea of purgatory. The Ghost, in act one scene two, says that he is neither in Heaven nor Hell, and that during the night he is able to leave, but during the day he is stuck in purgatory until he has paid for his sins (Shakespeare 1.5.10-13). Purgatory, part of the doctrine of the Catholic Church, is believed to be the place where souls go after the body is dead. In purgatory the soul is able to compensate for its sins it had not confessed and earn its way into Heaven. At first this idea of purgatory may not seem crucial to the play, but a closer analysis proves to contradict this thought. The whole idea of purgatory being neither Heaven nor Hell allows for the Ghost to return as a spirit. In his return to the real world, the Ghost, informs his son that he did not pass away from natural causes that Claudius, the Ghost’s brother, murdered him. If the Ghost did not make an appearance to Hamlet then he never would have found...


... middle of paper ...


... in Kierkegaard. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1998. Questia. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
Ferber, Michael. A Dictionary of Literary Symbols. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 1999. Questia. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
Milward, Peter. "Chapter 1: Meta-Drama in Hamlet and Macbeth." Shakespeare's Christianity: The Protestant and Catholic Poetics of Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Ed. Beatrice Batsona. Waco, TX: Baylor UP, 2006. 1-18. Questia. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
New Living Translation Bible. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2004. Print.
Shaheen, Naseeb. Biblical References in Shakespeare's Plays. Newark, DE: University of Delaware, 1999. Questia. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 5th Compact ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012. 1010-1107. Print.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Religion in Hamlet Essay - The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is one of the most famous tragedies William Shakespeare has ever written. Found throughout Shakespeare’s tragedy are many religious references. According to Peter Milward, the author of Shakespeare's Christianity: The Protestant and Catholic Poetics of Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet, “From a purely religious point of view, which is more than just biblical, Hamlet is rich in homiletic material of all kinds, reflecting almost every aspect of the religious situation in a deeply religious age” (Milward 9)....   [tags: Hamlet Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1156 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Religion’s Role in Hamlet Essay examples - Religion’s Role in Hamlet It is known that William Shakespeare did not follow or support any one religion. However, he evidently had a great deal of religious education. In his play, Hamlet, Shakespeare uses his knowledge of religion and culture to manipulate the reactions of the audience for which it was originally intended. This is seen by observing the way in which he exploits the Elizabethans' confusion concerning religion, his use of conflicting cultures to evoke responses in the audience, and the significance of Hamlet's Christian knowledge....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet] 595 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Elements of Religion in the Renaissance Portrayed in Hamlet by William Shakespeare - Elements of Religion in the Renaissance Portrayed in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Literature of the Renaissance was far different from that of the previous eras. Man was now thought of as the center of life, as opposed to God being the center in earlier times. Also, man was thought to have free will over his life, not being simply a pawn of the Gods. These new ideals were presented in the theaters as well as written literature. The esteemed William Shakespeare incorporated many of these components into some of the greatest performed classics in the history of theater....   [tags: Papers] 747 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Hamlet: The Original Renaissance Man Essay - Hamlet in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, rides the wave of change in that epitomizes the Renaissance era. The transition from strong strictures of Catholic religion to the more humanistic version of the Protestant religion gradually changed the outlook of the Renaissance man, and how they saw the world. Hamlet is the progression of the Renaissance change. The play begins with Hamlet’s strong belief in the Catholic religion and laws in Act I Scene 2 with him speaking aloud regarding the law of God and how he wishes it was different, as he is believes that it is against God’s law to commit suicide, and therefore is not an option for him as a Christian....   [tags: renaissance, religion, progression, rules]
:: 9 Works Cited
668 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Allegorical Analysis of Shakespeare´s Hamlet Essay - ... His knowledge of various beliefs in the Roman Catholic faith are blatantly expressed when read with "new eyes". Shakespeare's plays take new meanings when examined for their allegorical meaning. Religion is expressed all throughout Shakespeare's plays, including Hamlet. Examining Shakespeare's plays with "new eyes" and looking for the allegorical meaning, various Roman Catholic teachings and stories are found throughout the entirety of Hamlet. Hamlet when read for it's allegorical meaning takes on a whole new meaning....   [tags: catholic, church, teaching, stories, religion] 600 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Hamlet: The Bewildering Human Condition Essay - Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is a complex and ambiguous public exploration of key human experiences surrounding the aspects of revenge, betrayal and corruption. The Elizabethan play is focused centrally on the ghost’s reoccurring appearance as a symbol of death and disruption to the chain of being in the state of Denmark. The imagery of death and uncertainty has a direct impact on Hamlet’s state of mind as he struggles to search for the truth on his quest for revenge as he switches between his two incompatible values of his Christian codes of honour and humanist beliefs which come into direct conflict....   [tags: Hamlet Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1242 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Hamlet as Tragic Hero Essay - Hamlet, the titled character of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, William Shakespeare’s most prominent play, is arguably the most complex, relatable, and deep character created by Shakespeare. His actions and thoughts throughout the play show the audience how fully developed and unpredictable he is with his mixed personalities. What Hamlet goes through in the play defines the adventures encountered by a tragic hero. In this timeless tragedy, despite Hamlet’s great nobility and knowledge, he has a tragic flaw that ultimately leads to his ironic death....   [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare]
:: 4 Works Cited
1364 words
(3.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Supernatural Element in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay - A common motif in Shakespeare’s many plays is the supernatural element, to which Hamlet , with the presence of a ghost, is no exception. The story of Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark, is one of tragedy, revenge, deception, and ghosts. Shakespeare’s use of the supernatural element helps give a definition to the play by being the catalyst of the tragedy that brings upon Hamlet’s untimely demise. The ghost that appears at the beginning of the play could possibly be a satanic figure that causes Hamlet to engage in the terrible acts and endanger his soul....   [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare]
:: 4 Works Cited
1126 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
There is No Ghost in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - There is No Ghost in William Shakespeare's Hamlet   "Hamlet", written by William Shakespeare in the seventeenth century, is a tragedy of great proportion and great debate. When the play begins, Hamlet is moping around at home. His father recently died, his mother sinfully married her brother-in-law, and he was cheated out of the throne by his ambitious uncle. He is angry and bitter, and after initial skepticism, is more than willing to accept the ghost who seems to resemble his deceased father....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 1 Works Cited
643 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Analysis of Hamlet - Hamlet is a suspenseful play that introduces the topic of tragedy. Throughout the play, Hamlet displays anger, uncertainty, and obsession with death. Although Hamlet is unaware of it, these emotions cause the mishaps that occur throughout the play. These emotions combined with his unawareness are the leading basis for the tragic hero’s flaws. These flaws lead Hamlet not to be a bad man, but a regular form of imperfection that comes along with being human. When Hamlet is first encountered with the ghost that resembles his father, it is revealed that his uncle Claudius might have been the cause of his father’s death....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet] 1306 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]