View Full Version : religious development...

08-01-2008, 03:03 PM
how do hamlet's religious views develop during the play? what's different between how he starts off, and how he ends up...? and kinda hurry... :)

08-01-2008, 09:42 PM
Do his religious ideas change at all?

08-02-2008, 12:58 PM
yeaaa... that's what i'm asking...

08-03-2008, 08:09 PM
That's a tough question. After growing up traditional and secure, he is pushed into a really deep "valley" or "wilderness" experience. He digs himself out, but not much via sacredness; more of (a) human plotting and reasoning, and (b) submitting to fate (plus a little "the readiness is all" -- not very religious, not "Thy will be done"). Some of religion says "Love your enemies...bless them that curse you" which is not his procedure.

08-03-2008, 10:06 PM
He's something of a religious contradiction. While he retains high moral standards for mother Gertrude, the scripture "Thou shalt not kill" and "Vengeance is mine" seem lost on him. Even his intercourse with the ghost is wicked from a Christian standpoint, as is his attitude to suicide, and his treatment of R & G and Ophelia.

Is he, or does he become, a lapsed Christian?

08-04-2008, 08:41 AM
I am not sure that Hamlet took religion at all seriously, or that it played any part in his actions or thoughts. Shakespeare never struck me as a "religious" writer, for that matter.

08-04-2008, 10:13 AM
oh thanks so much you guys! this site is great for literature help! ill def be comin back here when im stuck! :)

08-04-2008, 06:29 PM
I am not sure that...religion...played any part in his actions or thoughts.One clear instance of religion playing a part is Hamlet's reluctance to kill Claudius in prayer, dispatching a repentant sinner to bliss.

08-04-2008, 09:11 PM
You are right, and I had overlooked your example:

"Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent. 5
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, 92
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in ’t,—
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven, 96
And that his soul may be as damn’d and black
As hell, whereto it goes..."III.iii,91-98

Hamlet refrains from killing Claudius because he is praying, and although accomplishing his death, it might gain him entry into heaven. Ironically, of course, Claudius is not really praying:"My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go."


08-08-2008, 10:19 AM
hey ive got questions bout henry IV parts 1&2 too! check it out!