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|GR: Yes, it's scary
Written by Ana L
(5/27/2003 10:56 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: So what about the fact that Fortinbras "wins"?, penned by Laraine
] So what is the meaning behind the fact that it is Fortinbras that apparently will be king of Denmark? Is Shakespeare saying that it is the King Hamlets and the King Fortinbrases who ultimately make the best rulers: those who search out and fight battles for territory?
I don't know what to think. It would appear that this is what Shakespeare is saying and, if so, it is, indeed, very scary.
In Act IV, Scene 4, Hamlet compares himself unfavorably to Fortinbras, calling him a sensitive and youthful prince whose courage scoffs at danger. I believe Hamlet annoints Fortinbras -- rightly or wrongly -- because of his courage and his willingness to fight (even small) battles when honor is at stake. Still, Fortinbras' courage does not obviate his "conquering" mindset.
Perhaps Fortinbras' quick ascension to the throne at the end is part plot device required to tie up loose ends -- and not necessarily Shakespeare's endorsement of "Territorial Conquerors."
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