Hamlet in Purgatory

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Stephen Greenblatt sets out to explain his longtime fascination with the ghost of Hamlet's father, and his daring and ultimately gratifying journey takes him through surprising intellectual territory. It yields an extraordinary account of the rise and fall of Purgatory as both a belief and a lucrative institution--as well as a capacious new reading of the power of Hamlet. In the mid-sixteenth century, English authorities abruptly changed the relationship between the living and dead. Declaring that Purgatory was a false ...

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jfdmlo

Jun 11, 2009

Shakespeare and his times

Greenblatt is an author that digs far deeper into literature than many of us ever thought possible. Literature is not just what the author says, it is what historically, socially, culturally and religiously what was believed; what art and culture may have inspired and affected what was written. Greenblatt specifically takes the idea of Hamlet's father's ghost and discusses the belief system of Elizabethan England. The idea of purgatory - believed by the catholics, but discredited by Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. His analysis and discussions are far more interesting and complete than this review. Enjoy the book, whether you are interested in history, religion or Shakespeare.

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