The ghost of Hamlet's murdered father comes back to haunt the Prince of Denmark. If you know your 'Hamlet' then you know what happens next!
What you might NOT know (like me!) is that Purgatory was banned by the Elizabethan state (Protestant) as a Popish 'plot' to extract indulgences from the devout through fear of the 'unknown'.
What Stephen Greenblatt does in this remarkable work of scholarship, is explore the theological backdrop to Shakespeare's masterpiece and to reveal the essentially Catholic underpinnings of the Danish Court.
Not only is this fascinating stuff but is beautifully written, for layman (or woman) and scholar alike. Buy it! Now!
First twp chapters just background and intellectual context so the title almost a misnomer. Not an easy read for the 'lay' reader. As ever with Greenblatt though, total control of subject with erudite insight and stylistic aplomb.