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TOPIC: Fortinbras's arrival

Fortinbras's arrival 6 years 2 months ago #1849

  • akfarrar
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I'd also have thrown Cnut (such a beloved name to young adolescents in England) in to the hotch-potch of history and myth - that is where the Danish Dominance comes in.
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Fortinbras's arrival 6 years 2 months ago #1852

Indeed, almost up until William the Conqueror, England was ruled/ravaged by the Vikings for a couple of hundred years, culminating in the reign of Danish King Knud (usually, in my experience, spelled "Canute" in English), although in fact he only became Danish king two years after having conquered England (Canute's older brother, Harald II, had initially become king of Denmark following their father's death, but he was a bit of a sissy, so the Danish fleet put Canute on the throne instead). But yes, this is the major British recollection of Danish Dominance, and it may be true to say, as Asimov does in his Guide to Shakespeare, that the Britain of 1600 felt themselves to be much closer to the time of Canute, 600 years earlier, than the Britiain of today feels itself in relation to the Renaissance , though that time-span is shorter; 400 years.
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Fortinbras's arrival 6 years 1 month ago #1857

sorensonian wrote:
it may be true to say, as Asimov does in his Guide to Shakespeare, that the Britain of 1600 felt themselves to be much closer to the time of Canute, 600 years earlier, than the Britiain of today feels itself in relation to the Renaissance , though that time-span is shorter; 400 years.

Is this perhaps because Britain's monarchy has changed? How would the recent film "The Queen" with Helen Mirren have played to Shakespeare's audience? Would they have understood the dynamics that movie portrays between the Royals with each other and their subjects? And would today's audiences ever see Prince Charles as a king like Henry V or any other monarch in Shakespeare's history plays?
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Fortinbras's arrival 6 years 1 month ago #1858

Hardly. I think it's simply because the age after the industrial revolution has made Britain (and the world) change so much and so fast that people's identities are no longer tied very much to the Renaissance, which seems to us a very long time ago. Whereas back then things and cultural identities changed much more slowly, and it would have been easier for people to have maintained a certain continuity of identity from one era to another, even across many centuries.
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Fortinbras's arrival 6 years 1 month ago #1861

WOW! I never thought I would get such a discussion on such a minor part of the play. I appreciate your responses and will add them to my limited knowledge of Hamlet.
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