Abstract

Abstract:

This essay argues that in Hamlet, Shakespeare extends the conventional logic of Senecan revenge—the revenger’s quest to redress crimes against kin through a course of retributive blood justice—to the matter of Old Hamlet’s unsacramental death, which leaves him without the last rites of communion, penance, and unction. Shakespeare scripts revenge in such a way that these denied sacraments feature symbolically in Hamlet’s revenge on Claudius. This unique form of retributive justice and the soteriological anxieties it produces are made more poignant in a play set in Catholic Denmark and performed in Reformation England.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 422-443
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-28
Open Access
No
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