Christianity in Shakespear's Hamlet

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Faith plays a large role in how one lives their life. Christianity plays a strong role throughout Hamlet by William Shakespeare. When reading the play one must think of the controversies of the time when Shakespeare writes the play. Reformation and Renaissance opinions are reflected throughout. Shakespeare deals with very controversial attitudes and religious questions dealing with death, the existence of purgatory, morality, murder, suicide and marriage in his play Hamlet. It is obvious throughout the play that Hamlet’s life is guided by his faith and his religious beliefs. At first, Hamlet sees the ghost of his dead father and vows to avenge his death. “Christianity forbids followers to seek out spirits for advice or…show more content…
"To be, or not to be? That is the question- whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep- No more-and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to-'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished!" (Shakespeare 53)." At this point Hamlet is questioning whether he should live or die and whether it would be better to live his life in agony or end it and in turn end the pain. He is troubled that if he were to take his own life he would end up not in purgatory but in hell because taking one’s life was considered to be an unforgiveable sin. It is unfortunate that Hamlet is in a place in his life where he thinks killing himself would perhaps be more of an option than living under the circumstances, which surround him. Hamlet decides that he does not want to risk eternal peace in heaven for peace he may find while on earth in a difficult situation. Hamlet also uses his Christian ideals when struggling with the idea of killing his step father. He has several opportunities to do so the primary one is when he walks in on Claudius praying. Hamlet can’t commit murder when the person is praying because then that would send the person straight to heaven. Hamlet does not want Claudius to end up living in heaven but rather he wants to make sure that Claudius is sent to Hell. Hamlet

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