The Conflict Between Christianity And Christianity Pervades Shakespeare's Hamlet

1527 Words 7 Pages
Christianity pervades Shakespeare’s Hamlet. One could assert that the clash between Denmark’s primarily Catholic faith and the Protestant ideologies Prince Hamlet absorbs while in Wittenberg serves as the catalyst for action within the bard’s arguably most famous play. From the moment Hamlet witnesses the ghost of his father, his clearly defined views of the world and his faith are shaken. The world around him does not seem so beautiful or simple as he once thought; in seeing his father’s spirit, Hamlet takes the proverbial bite of the forbidden fruit and suddenly Denmark no longer appears as a veritable Garden of Eden. From his claims that the world “[is] an unweeded garden / That grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature” (1.2.135-136), I posit that Hamlet’s actions throughout the play are a deliberate attempt to ‘weed the garden’ by playing God. In order to fully comprehend the conflict between Hamlet’s Catholic upbringing and the Protestant ideals he …show more content…
He projects his aforementioned Calvinist viewpoint onto Ophelia by saying “get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a / breeder of sinners” (3.1.120-121) and “I’ll give thee this plague for / thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, / thou shalt not escape calumny” (3.1.134-136). Hamlet implores her not to create more sinners and covertly imparts the message that she should not allow herself to be swept up in the vices of those around her, namely Gertrude, Claudius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and her own father. His good intentions backfire. As Hamlet moves to weed the garden, he does not realize how his actions affect Ophelia – although he never intends for harm to come to her, his shift in behavior and the slaying of Polonius force her to madness. In the end, Ophelia becomes Hamlet’s unintended

Related Documents