[Ebook] ➧ Hamlet in Purgatory Author Stephen Greenblatt – Saudionline.co.uk

Hamlet in Purgatory txt Hamlet in Purgatory, text ebook Hamlet in Purgatory, adobe reader Hamlet in Purgatory, chapter 2 Hamlet in Purgatory, Hamlet in Purgatory 791b16 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 HamletIn The Mid Sixteenth Century, English Authorities Abruptly Changed The Relationship Between The Living And Dead Declaring That Purgatory Was A False Poem, They Abolished The Institutions And Banned The Practices That Christians Relied On To Ease The Passage To Heaven For Themselves And Their Dead Loved Ones Greenblatt Explores The Fantastic Adventure Narratives, Ghost Stories, Pilgrimages, And Imagery By Which A Belief In A Grisly Prison House Of Souls Had Been Shaped And Reinforced In The Middle Ages He Probes The Psychological Benefits As Well As The High Costs Of This Belief And Of Its DemolitionWith The Doctrine Of Purgatory And The Elaborate Practices That Grew Up Around It, The Church Had Provided A Powerful Method Of Negotiating With The Dead The Protestant Attack On Purgatory Destroyed This Method For Most People In England, But It Did Not Eradicate The Longings And Fears That Catholic Doctrine Had For Centuries Focused And Exploited In His Strikingly Original Interpretation, Greenblatt Argues That The Human Desires To Commune With, Assist, And Be Rid Of The Dead Were Transformed By Shakespeare Consummate Conjurer That He Was Into The Substance Of Several Of His Plays, Above All The Weirdly Powerful Hamlet Thus, The Space Of Purgatory Became The Stage Haunted By Literature S Most Famous GhostThis Book Constitutes An Extraordinary Feat That Could Have Been Accomplished By Only Stephen Greenblatt It Is At Once A Deeply Satisfying Reading Of Medieval Religion, An Innovative Interpretation Of The Apparitions That Trouble Shakespeare S Tragic Heroes, And An Exploration Of How A Culture Can Be Inhabited By Its Own Spectral Leftovers


About the Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt Ph.D Yale is Cogan University Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University Also General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Eighth Edition, he is the author of nine books, including Will in the World How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare Hamlet in Purgatory Practicing New Historicism Marvelous Possessions The Wonder of t



10 thoughts on “Hamlet in Purgatory

  1. says:

    Greenblatt is a great researcher, a key trait that shines through in the early chapters of Hamlet in Purgatory, but also dims the reader s understanding of his overall goals Probably this exploration of Purgatory s power and its effect on Hamlet and Greenblatt himself would have been better suited to a series of essays, rather than a five chapter book it s a broad subject, after all The whole effort feels very disjointed at times, with the first three chapters explaining Purgatory, its rites and the criticisms against it without any mention of how these things will connect to later Elizabethan drama, or how they even connect together within the individual chapters themselves A reader must push forward to reach clearer textual analysis, and it arrives in the last two chapters, primarily.Strongest are the links that Greenblatt draws between the rites of remembering the dead and Hamlet s stress on honoring his ghostly father, though he eventually becomes so wrapped up in revenge, what he does can almost not be called a remembrance The pull of Purgatory has a great sway over Hamlet, who is at times clearly depicted as Protestant, and so the thing he must do is culturally murky outside the obvious reasons, and hard to achieve because he struggles to find the right murderous ceremony through which to whisk his father from his dreary afterlife.I had never thought of the religious pressures smothering the young Dane, and Greenblatt gives them great weight through dissection of various tracts by Simon Fish, Sir Thomas More and many spiritual leaders He ferrets out the influences on Shakespeare s Hamlet and his sections on remembrances through alms for the dead are eloquent and startling in its potential humanist objections in a medieval world For that alone, Hamlet in Purgatory is a great read for anyone interested in Shakespeare s work and religion Side note kudos to Greenblatt for sticking to the playwright s dramas, and drawing larger cultural concerns over them, rather than presuming personal influence that we can know nothing of for that sort of conjecture, Will in the World is a fun read.


  2. says:

    I really enjoyed this book There are certain writers with whom I am particularly partial such as Robert Caro, Jorge Louis Borges, A J Liebling and Stephen Greenblatt I always get from their writing than I expected when I picked up their book, essay or critical review My experience with Greenblatt s Hamlet in Purgatory was no exception.What some reviewers found frustrating I found enjoyed I liked the background on purgatory itself and appreciated how he placed the creation of this mythical space in the context of religious history and pre post English Renaissance writings I appreciated the application of the concept of purgatory to a variety of Shakespeare s plays not just Hamlet Admittedly his erudition lost me several times, especially when he discussed what one assumes is the primary focused of the writing the relationship of purgatory in the play Hamlet However, I don t mind a wit a book that makes me reach even if my intellectual alligator arms can t grasp what was put in front of me.I believe it s important to remember that Greenblatt is a founding father of the New Historicism and as such tackles all his subjects with a desire to understand the topic from the perspective of the history of ideas and how many varied elements in history touch on and effect a specific event It s his nature to bring into a discussion several diverse subjects to see how together they effected the result.I am happy to give it a five star with the only caveat being I recognize I m not as objective when it comes to my favorites.


  3. says:

    Hamlet in Purgatory, a New Historicist book, in brief, deals with the history of the much contested idea of Purgatory as it must have been inherited in Renaissance England by Shakespeare in whose plays not just in Hamlet, but especially in it it seeps in, the poetical replacing the theological as a way to grapple with the thin boundary between life and death and the grief that accompanies death Greenblatt s writing is not overly dense and his arguments are both brilliant and wonderfully tied together, making seeing the play through the lens of his thesis very rewarding He gets remarkably close to the mystery of Hamlet that critics have been perpetually engaged in trying to understand.


  4. says:

    , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , a young man from wittenberg, with a distinctly protestant temperament, is haunted by a distinctly catholic ghost , , , , .


  5. says:

    Hamlet in Purgatory book provides fascinating scholarship regarding the medieval and early modern English ideas of ghosts and Purgatory, and it uses that to inform some insightful readings into Hamlet, and some of Shakespeare s other plays as well The book s main point seems to have been that with regards to the memories of the dead in Elizabethan England, a theatrical and poetic understanding of purgatory and ghosts had usurped the role that had previously been played by sincere religious belief This in itself is a cool insight, and there are quite a few other cool insights to be found in Hamlet in Purgatory as well But the book mentions so many different topics, and makes so many side trips some fun , that its hard to nail down what exactly it was about Also, I didn t think it talked enough about the other big influence on the ghosts of Elizabethan theater Senecan revenge tragedies Having finished the book, I felt like I had half the picture The ghost in Hamlet is both from purgatory, and from hell hades It could be either a spirit of health or a goblin dammed Having read the book, I felt I had gained a background on the ghost as a thing from purgatory, but I feel that to really grok that ghost, I also need to understand it as a spirit from Hades, a thing out of the revenge tragedy tradition.


  6. says:

    Picture yourself consigned to Purgatory apparently, somewhere beneath Ireland for some indefinite term of spiritual cleansing You stand, perhaps, isolated on a vast desert, swept by hot winds, beneath a demonic sun Around you, in a perfect circle, burns a ring of flames, which while never quite touching your body still serve to bake out of it the last vestiges of water Imagine yourself here, dessicating, for a period of some hundred years, and perhaps you ll get something of a feel of the dryness of Greenblatt s work The author so phenomenally successful elsewhere falls flat here, spending far too long in recounting repetitive details about the history of the concept of Purgatory before even beginning to approach the Shakespearean connection the title promises And when he does, it s Lear and Macbeth far than Hamlet A handful of interesting bits are scattered throughout the text, but frankly he did the topic better service in the few pages he spent dealing with it in Will in the World Reads like a stint as Tantalus, so I d sate your interests elsewhere.


  7. says:

    This was an utterly fascinating book The title is a tad misleading, since he doesn t focus just on Hamlet We learn a great deal about the murky origins of Purgatory as Catholic doctrine and how it was seemingly eradicated by the Protestant Reformation Also, we get a tour of the various ghosts in Shakespeare, from the ghost of Caesar to Old Hamlet appearing to his son in armor This book is a tremendous example of how something that s over 400 years old can be looked at freshly just by bringing one aspect to the forefront that s usually just part of the trappings You don t necessarily need to be fluent in theology, but familiarity helps And a broad knowledge of the plays is useful, too For a book as intense and serious as this one, I had an absolute blast reading it I recommend it to any student of the Bard, religion, or history.


  8. says:

    This is a really interesting read I want to give it 3.5 stars Granted, it takes four chapters to get to Shakespeare and five before Hamlet and his spectral father make an appearance, but the early material on the battle over the concept of Purgatory is engaging enough that you don t hold it against Greenblatt too much It really is hard to conceive just how high the stakes over a concept like Purgatory were in the early modern period in England, and Greenblatt who I met once eons ago when he was kind enough to chat about the Bard for at least an hour with some wet behind the ears graduate students does a great job of laying out that this really was a matter of life and death for many, both in this life and the world to come.


  9. says:

    A Protestant Hamlet just returned from Wittenburg is confronted by his father s purgatorial ghost This strange happening sets Greenblatt off on a quest to understand the development of purgatory and the Protestant polemic against it Eventually Greenblatt applies his research to Shakespeare s plays and to Hamlet in particular The research on purgatory and it s reception history is well done.


  10. says:

    A surprisingly entertaining read if you re interested in Hamlet and or purgatory Stephen Greenblatt got me with both The Hamlet in question is the King, as he s the only dead Hamlet while the play takes place Junior gets his share of ink in response to his dad but then, that s the whole play, isn t it Responding to dad Fascinating the parsing of stanzas, lines, and words, but like many studies I believe most of the conceits are those of the scholar rather than the author I have a feeling Shakespeare spent less time crafting the possibilities of double and triple meanings than just trying to figure out how to keep the meter intact, and the action moving I can see him pulling his beard and muttering, You know, I just write em Spoiler alert Scholars are still not sure if Hamlet p re was in purgatory, or just wandering around with nowhere to go.The study of Purgatory, for me the most interesting part of the book, was a revelation in the sense that sapiens have invested so much energy in fantasy purported as reality As if creation, the garden, heaven, hell, angels, devils, miracles, and Saviours didn t provide enough entertainment, the church fathers had to come up with Purgatory we won t even talk about Limbo Here s the deal, say Uncle Joe dies Everyone knows he was no saint, but nobody believes he was evil, and so what to do with his immortal soul In the 11th Century the Church came up with Purgatory a ghastly waiting room where a soul is denied the presence of God until it has come clean At first there were no torments other than the restriction keeping one from God s presence, but then the geniuses got to work inventing metaphors for how horrible that would be Quite horrible, actually all the torments of hell, only temporary Now, loving Uncle Joe his survivors would want him released as soon as possible The Church had a plan, and it was to monetize a system of indulgences that would take set amounts of time off the sentence Give the church a few coins and, voila, ten years removed The given, the years go away You could simply pray, but prayers without cash were not as efficacious as well, cash without prayers One Papal indulgence would buy you 21,000 years couldn t have been cheap No one really knew how many years Uncle Joe had, or how long a year actually took in Purgatory time, but, better safe.Indulgences were such a lucrative business that churches became the richest entities in the earthly kingdoms It was said that every church, monastery, nunnery, college and library, and all the clerical employees were funded by indulgences, with money left over for homes, farms, concubines, etc etc No wonder Luther was in a snit Getting rid of indulgences was Protestant work, and to this day a Catholic can still pray sins away, and in 1960 my uncle went to Rome, and came back with a document signed by a papal secretary that gave my name, and stated that if, at the moment of death, I was truly sorrowful for my sins, and said the name of Jesus, I d go to heaven non stop Of course it cost him, but he never said how much.But, you may ask, what about Hamlet, p re et fils The ghost didn t seem too concerned with getting out of purgatory, he it just wanted revenge, and the prince wasn t praying or buying indulgences he just wanted to do right by his father The final straw is that taking revenge on Claudius wouldn t have eased the purgatorial burden on Hamlet no indulgence for murder but may have kept him quiet I think keeping him quiet was a greater motivation than easing his other sufferings The greater concern seemed to have been with audience and censers Elizabethan England wanted no part of Purgatory and the powers would have found it seditious The Catholics in the crowd, however, wanted to read as much into the play as possible, hoping they had found an ally in the Bard They didn t get far As it was, no one was satisfied, but Shakespeare got away with having ghosts in a lot of his work nobody wanted to decide quite where they came from, but they were a great stage convention good for chills, thrills, and moving plots along, so complaints were kept to a minimum Any controversy has been about scholars and theologians splitting hairs I was quite entertained by Hamlet in Purgatory, smile and depending on your tolerance for silly theological fantasy and hair splitting, and assumptions about what Shakespeare may have been thinking, you might be also.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *