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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: October ::
Re: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2130  Friday, 25 October 2002

[1]     From:   Claude Caspar <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Oct 2002 10:40:39 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2126 Re: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Oct 2002 12:01:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2126 Re: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Claude Caspar <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Oct 2002 10:40:39 -0400
Subject: 13.2126 Re: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2126 Re: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet

I had a thought, though that perhaps mischaracterizes it- just a wisp of
understanding, a velleity.  Gertrude doesn't see the ghost because she
has become thoughtless, up until this scene, not recollecting, not
"remembering."  The ghost is there, but not seen until invoked, it is an
interactive experience. Even the first soldiers "knew" him, had not
forgot his deeds- he was not unknown. Just as Hamlet gets through to
her, the ghost departs -- he no longer needs to return, but if he had,
then, perhaps, Gertrude would experience the phenomena because now she
has him in mind, has kept a place for him to return.  The person who
most vividly remembers, who can't forget, even forget in order to
recall, is Hamlet- he is, in this sense, haunted. And, those interested
should see Garber's "Shakespeare's Ghost Writers."

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 24 Oct 2002 12:01:47 -0400
Subject: 13.2126 Re: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2126 Re: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet

David Bishop <
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 > writes,

>Critics who blow up the ghost's
>daytime abode into a contentiously doctrinal Purgatory seem to me to
>misrepresent the play.

"Contentiously doctrinal", yes; for it's departing from the subject
after the manner of the bardolators who see a whole constitutional
doctrine in "I will make a Star-Chamber matter of it."  Nevertheless, it
clearly _is_ Purgatory, enough to show (if his profession did not
already) that the playwright is no puritan.

One wonders whether Shakespeare would not have agreed with C. S. Lewis,
who was once taken to task for saying that he believed in Purgatory,
when Article XXII of the 39 Articles reads:

   OF PURGATORY

   The  Romish  doctrine  concerning  Purgatory,  Pardons,
   Worshipping and Adoration as well of Images as of Reliques,
   and also invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly
   invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture,
   but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

"But," said Lewis, "not the Romish doctrine."

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