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TOPIC: So... were Denmark and Norway ever at war in real life?

So... were Denmark and Norway ever at war in real life? 1 year 3 months ago #7151

  • TheGhostofOphelia
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I'm trying to find out possible theories for why Shakespeare wrote that Denmark and Norway were warring countries. I am aware that the Danish had a history of invading England and some say that's why Shakespeare probably felt the need to portray Denmark the way he portrays it. And Claudius even mentions that Denmark hurt England in the past (just before he sends Hamlet to England). But I can't seem to find any information about whether Denmark and Norway were ever really feuding in real life.

Any reading suggestions? Websites? Theories?
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So... were Denmark and Norway ever at war in real life? 1 year 1 month ago #7156

  • Gill Othen
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England was part of the Danish empire around 1000AD. At various points all bits of Scandinavia belonged to Denmark. Or Sweden. Or Norway. They switched it round a bit.

Have a look at the main sources of 'Hamlet'. Saxo Grammaticus in particular.
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So... were Denmark and Norway ever at war in real life? 1 year 1 month ago #7157

  • Zach Tolan
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I like to think most of Shakespeare's inspiration for the political tensions between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were influenced by the prehistory of King Gustav Vasa of Sweden, his reign, and his sons' succession, Insane Erik XIV of Sweden.

Here's a good springboard: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_I_of_Sweden

Especially interesting are the Sture Family Murders. Very resonant to the end of Hamlet, and happened during Shakespeare's childhood. It might have made international news.
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