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Word Count: 601
Danish Society as expressed by Hamlet Though Hamlet was written to express the tragedy of a kingdom it also acted as an impression of the times showing the beliefs and manners of a 12th century Denmark The ghost the banquet in the first act the tragic soliloquys Danish customs of the court and the play in act 3 are all examples of social occasions and interactions within the play that exemplify the beliefs and manners of 12th century Denmark The appearance of the ghost in the first scene gives the opportunity for the audience to not only understand the characters but also understand the recent death of King Hamlet and the historical conflict Denmark has had with its fellow Scandinavian Poland The ghost acts as a beacon to the era giving us knowledge of the the society in which the characters live without blatantly doing so Another occasion when the ghost plays a role to help the audience understand Denmark and Danish society happens in scene 4 of act 1 when the king carouses the streets as part of Danish custom When the carousing begins and the trumpets are blown the ghost of the dead King appears again to show the tragedy of a Danish custom improperly used Hence Something is rotten in the state of Denmark Danish society reflects itself in the initial banquet of the King in scene 2 of act 1 The king is not questioned rather greeted and unquestioned about the death of the old king The Queen knowing her courts Danish customs accepts the marriage of the King with very little expressive remorse because it may come across as treason in Danish society In the banquet scene we are also exposed to the structure and lives of the people of the court For example through Laertes and Hamlet we see how often the youth travel abroad to gain knowledge and education Hamlets subsequent soliloquy at
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