William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Decent Essays
William Shakespeare is a historic writer that is well known and wrote many plays in his lifetime. In most of his plays, if not all, he has incorporated hidden meanings and messages. The majority of his hidden meanings are controversial topics of his time period. In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the controversial topic that is throughout the play is religion and the afterlife. Afterlife plays a big role in Hamlet and is discussed throughout the play. Multiple authors have written on the topic of afterlife and religion in Shakespeare’s play, especially Hamlet. One author that has written on the topic is Paul Dean. In his paper, “The Afterlife of Hamlet”, he includes quotes from Stephen Greenblatt, Roy Battenhouse, William Empson, and many…show more content…
When the Ghost told Hamlet this information it helped fuel Hamlet’s decision to revenge his father’s death. If a child finds out that their parent was murdered and then that they’re suffering to the extent the Ghost describes, it would anger the child and cause them to enact revenge. Due to this reason I agree with Dean in this aspect of the Ghost and that he originated from evil and isn’t the actual ghost of the late King Hamlet. Another important topic in Hamlet is religion. As previously stated, the time period in which Hamlet was written, England was a Protestant country and Pro-Catholism in plays was forbidden. According to Dean “Shakespeare makes the Catholicism of the Ghost clear, while leaving Hamlet’s and the play’s larger theological position unclear, because he is interested on belief rather than beliefs, or even in doubt rather than faith” (Dean 522), I agree with Dean’s statement. I think that Shakespeare is more interested in how he makes the characters agree or disagree with the Ghost’s religion. Another significant point about religion is at Ophelia’s funeral. The priest that conducts her service is Catholic because he won’t sing a requiem, which in Catholism is used to help souls rest (Dean 522). Due to the fact that she was believed to if committed suicide the priest wouldn’t conduct the requiem. In the Protestant religion they don’t perform requiem which is why the priest is Catholic. In Paul Dean’s
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