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There is a possibility that Hamlet was inspired by Martin Luther, the initiator of the Protestant Reformation. In Denmark, people follow the Catholic faith and are very religious. In Hamlet’s days, Catholics faced many problems. In those times, the Roman Catholic Church was rapidly gaining absolute power. The priests said that our sins can be condoned from God’s punishment by buying tickets to heaven. However, since Hamlet studies in Wittenberg in Germany and not in Denmark; he is little influenced by the Catholic school of thought. In Germany, Luther is epochal. Luther confronts the tenets of Roman Catholicism in the Ninety-Five Theses.
Hamlet is surrounded by Protestantism, in mind as well as in spirit. Hamlet says, “O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else? And shall I couple hell?” (Act 1 Scene 5). He starts to doubt Purgatory as it is a Catholic concept. As his father comes from Purgatory and asks him to avenge his murder; Hamlet questions himself about the existence of Purgatory. He thinks that the Devil himself has disguised as his father’s ghost and has descended to test him. Therefore, the ghost might be his imagination.
Hamlet is caught between the conflict of two opposite forces, so he tries to save his sanity and sense of reason. He has strong moral integrity. Since his father’s death remains a sudden occurrence; the next king of Denmark is supposed to be Hamlet. His uncle’s readiness to take his place makes Hamlet wonder how his father passed away. To make things worse, his mother marries him right after her husband’s death. Shakespeare writes, “Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables” (Act 1 Scene 2). Hamlet doubts his mother ever loved his father, and asks himself how in a short time she could overcome the grief and get married to her brother-in-law. Hamlet is disturbed by the happy demeanor of his mother. Shakespeare states, “How weary, stale, ...
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