Purging Puragtory Protestants vehemently reject the idea of Purgatory. Corinthians 2, 11:13-14 says, "For Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light." How does the tension between religious doctrines play out in 1.4 and 1.5?
The two things I noticed in re-reading these two scenes are that Hamlet swears by Saint Patrick when he answers Horatio, who just said, "There's no offense, my lord.":
"Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
And much offense too."
Saint Patrick, according to my Bevington textbook, is the keeper of Purgatory. This goes along with the references the Ghost makes to the fact that he has to spend time
"Doomed for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away."
Because Hamlet was killed before he was able to confess his sins, he is having to spend time in purgatory. However...
In one of the most famous lines ever, Hamlet says,
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Could that be Shakespeare via Hamlet rejecting the grounded philosophies of the time, including church teachings?
I'm not sure I have my brain wrapped around this concept yet, but it's a start! :)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial