Hamlet Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) according to the Norton edition
Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me. Remember me
We're going to let super famous literary critic Stephen Greenblatt handle this one: in Hamlet in Purgatory, he argues that the Ghost tells us about the complexities of the 16th century debate about Purgatory. Praying for Purgatorial spirits, argues Greenblatt, was a important way for the living to remember and express grief for lost love ones, so, when the Anglican Church officially rejected the doctrine of Purgatory in 1563, it eliminated an important social and psychological function for the living—kind of like Claudius ordering Hamlet to stop grieving.
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!
Tricky. Hamlet wants to die, but "self-slaughter" is a sin. Cue a major religious and moral dilemma that will haunt him (and us) throughout the play.
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly.
Hamlet insists that Gertrude's hasty marriage to Claudius (after Old Hamlet's death) has turned the world into an "unweeded garden." So, was Denmark some kind of idyllic Eden when his father was alive? If you consider that Hamlet never had to think about his mom having sex before she remarried—then, to him, it probably was.