The Significance of Religion in Hamlet Essay

The Significance of Religion in Hamlet Essay

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Summary -The tragedy of Hamlet is one of the most important of Shakespeare’s plays and one that is published and performed as part of the rainbow of world literature. This paper investigates the role of religion for the characters and their actions, and presents a new interpretation using religion to understand the characters’ motives. The paper concludes that although Christianity is the main influence on Hamlet, Shakespeare also used Grecian religious symbols. Hamlet suffered from a psychological shock, then re-evaluated the events around him in light of his religious views. Hamlet reveals how Shakespeare used his ability in rhetoric to create a religious message about the church and re-created the values of right and wrong according to his own view.


Undoubtedly, it is difficult to find free space in the land of the battle which thousands of horses’ hooves have crushed; similarly, when researching Hamlet, one finds a plethora of papers in diverse fields including philosophy, religion, feminism, literature, psychology, culture, and history covering a wide range of aspects of the play.
This study examines the function of religion for the people and events of Hamlet, offering a different perspective on the characters’ motives. The essay begins with a summary of the play, and then discusses the characters, especially the protagonist, to elicit the influence of religion. The central questions which this paper will address are: Are the characters ‘believers’? Was the main protagonist, Hamlet, a believer? Is faith given a positive or negative value in the play? To what extent does religion help us to illustrate and understand the play’s events? Was ...

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...: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. Available from:,+who+rejoice+in+dunnest+shades,+at+the+crowing+of+the+cock+tremble+and+scatter+in+sore+affright.%22%22&source=bl&ots=6S_hg403jd&sig=lBs136cVBCxXXStXAmQQTt9AxRk&hl=ar&ei=QnfQS7T4I4v3-Aap6YA0&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22%20that%20the%20night-wandering%20demons%2C%20who%20rejoice%20in%20dunnest%20shades%2C%20at%20the%20crowing%20of%20the%20cock%20tremble%20and%20scatter%20in%20sore%20affright.%22%22&f=false [accessed 20 April - 2015]

Voss, P. 2002 'Assurances of Faith: How Catholic was Shakespeare? How Catholic are his Plays?' Crisis 20, No. 7 (July/August), pp. 34-39. It is available from: [Accessed 24 April 2015]

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