Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

"Great Command O'Ersways the Order": Purgatory, Revenge, and Maimed Rites in Hamlet

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Religion and the Arts

Certain elements in Hamlet, together with historical and biographical events, suggest that Shakespeare's play can be better understood from a Catholic perspective. The representation of the Ghost from Purgatory contains obviously Catholic imagery and allusions. The notion of revenge or vengeance, understood in terms of a proper intention in appropriate circumstances, is considered a virtue in Thomistic theology rather than a vice, a notion applicable to the play particularly when the opposing vices of being excessive and being remiss in punishing (cruelty and negligence) are taken into account. And, finally, the Erastian measures taken by Claudius, whose "great command o'ersways the order" of Ophelia's funeral, deforms a traditional Catholic liturgy in producing "maimed rites."

Affiliations: 1: Our Lady of Grace Seminary, Boston


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation