Faustus And Hamlet´S Belief In The Ghost

1677 words - 7 pages

In order to conclude a final answer for this question one must fully understand the social background of both characters, and the era the plays were written in. first we must establish whether both character’s tragic flaw is in fact their procrastination. I will answer this by assessing the characters choices toward problems they are faced with. I will also offer an alternative argument by saying that both characters are protestant and their procrastination is catalyzed by their religious faith. Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is that Marlowe’s play contains conventions of a morality play (actors on stage dressed as sins tempting man), whereas Hamlet is more of a modern renaissance play.
Hamlet prince of Denmark is heir to the throne. His life takes a turn for the worst after the death of his father. Before he had a chance to claim the throne his uncle married his mother, taking the throne away from him. Surrounded by corruption and faithlessness Hamlet peruses an investigation to prove if his father was murdered, and if it was by the hands of his own uncle.
Faustus is a depiction of a typical “renaissance man”, a man who could know everything about anything because knowledge was limited.. He is a discontented scholar who turns to magic in order to gain unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures, however blinded by his hubris his procrastination to repent leads to his eternal damnation.
Marlowe’s Faustus (Latin for ‘lucky’) is a reworking of the Faust story, a German legend that shares the same story. Hamlet has also been identified to share certain themes and plots (revenge, regicide and madness) with previously written scriptures, one is the Saga of Hrolf Kraki, believed to be Scandinavian, the other is the Roman legend of Brutus. However Shakespeare’s reworking is believed to be the most complex because the idea of revenge and bloody deaths were a traditional convention of tragedy plays during Shakespeare’s time.
I disagree with this argument. Although the literal text does not offer a valid reason for Hamlet’s delay to killing his uncle, the subtext pose a compelling argument.
Hamlet and Faustus both attended the University of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther wrote the Ninety-five theses in 1517(considered to be the catalyst of the protestant reformation). The other protestant connection is that Hamlet is set in Denmark, an established protestant nation during Shakespeare’s time. Therefore we can safely assume that, regardless of the time period the play was set in, Hamlet is a protestant son. Faustus is a protestant not only because he went to Wittenberg, but he also appears to be mocking the pope in the final scenes. However it has been said that Marlowe made this protestant connection to cease all accusations of him being a practicing catholic.
A ghost appears before Hamlet claiming to be “his father’s” spirit and states that he is currently in purgatory. Question start to rise on the reliability of the...

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