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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: December ::
Shadowplay
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.2020  Wednesday, 7 December 2005

[1] 	From: 	Bob Linn <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 06 Dec 2005 15:44:47 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.2010 Shadowplay

[2] 	From: 	Peter Bridgman <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 6 Dec 2005 21:48:10 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.2010 Shadowplay


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bob Linn <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 06 Dec 2005 15:44:47 -0500
Subject: 16.2010 Shadowplay
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.2010 Shadowplay

Bill Arnold continues to insist that Limbo is not in Hell proper. 
However, speaking only from Dante, Limbo certainly is in Hell.  Dante 
and Virgil have crossed Acheron with Charon and seen the punishment of 
the Opportunists, when they enter the 1st Circle of Hell which is Limbo 
-- a kind of natural paradise, but apart from God with no hope for the 
souls there of ever being in God's presence.  The Old Testament 
characters were removed from Limbo by Jesus during the Harrowing of 
Hell.  I can in no way speak for Catholic theology on Limbo, but Dante 
certainly considers it part of Hell, and Virgil even notes that, living 
in Limbo, he has no hope of an ultimate salvation -- which, of course, 
souls in Purgatory do.  I'm not sure how the Ghost has become associated 
with Limbo in this discussion, but if I understand Dante correctly, a 
believing Christian - like Old Hamlet - could not wind up in Limbo -only 
punishment in lower regions of Hell, hope in Purgatory or reward in 
Heaven would be open to him. Limbo is only for the virtuous who had no 
knowledge of Christ. How did we get the Ghost out of Purgatory (or 
perhaps, Hell) and into Limbo.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 6 Dec 2005 21:48:10 -0000
Subject: 16.2010 Shadowplay
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.2010 Shadowplay

Bill Arnold asks ...

 >I leave this discussion with the concept of wandering
 >Spirits/Ghosts which is the premise of Shakespeare's
 >Hamlet, and a question for Peter Bridgman, et al.: was
 >the *limbo* Prince Hamlet's father's Spirit wandered in
 >part and parcel of the English concept of Purgatory ...

No.  The Catholic view (English or otherwise) was/is that souls stay in 
Purgatory until their temporal punishment is complete, i.e. until 
they've done their time.  Since Purgatory-time bears no relation to 
Earth-time, this purification process may take zillions of aeons, or may 
be over in the equivalent of a fraction of a second.  Either way, Old 
Hamlet's 'day-release' scheme is artistic licence on Shakespeare's part.

 >... and was the latter common knowledge to all regardless
 >of whether or not one was Catholic, Protestant, Celtic, or
 >some other Belief which projected a concept of the Afterworld?

The concept of Purgatory would've been understood by everyone in 
Shakespeare's audience.  To Catholics it was part of their religious 
cosmology; to Anglicans and Puritans alike it was a "futile thing 
foolishly conceived and grounded on no evidence of Scripture".

Peter Bridgman

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