Literary Lecture: What’s haunting Hamlet? Ghosts and Religion in Shakespeare
  • English
  • Senior
  • Sixth Form

On 5th December, the English Department hosted Dr Ezra Horbury, British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College London, for the second of this year's Literary Lectures. 

In an engaging and wide-ranging talk on hauntings in Shakespeare, Dr Horbury considered the way in which ideas about ghosts had shifted from the medieval era to the early modern period in which Shakespeare was writing - primarily as a result of the sixteenth-century Reformation. The lingering of Catholicism in Shakespeare’s works was given due focus in this regard, ranging from Ophelia in Hamlet to Sonnet 73, with Dr Horbury suggesting that Catholicism was a ghost in itself, “haunting” Shakespeare’s texts. Dr Horbury also discussed the ghosts that appear in Macbeth and Richard III, alongside notions of vengeance. 

An audience comprising our A Level and GCSE English students, together with teaching staff, benefited immensely from Dr Horbury’s many insights on the range of Shakespeare’s plays that are being studied by LEH pupils in English at the current time, including Hamlet, Richard III, and Macbeth.

By Mr Li - Head of English

  • LEH English