In Act 1 scene 2 of Hamlet, what does King Claudius say in his opening speech about his marriage and Fortinbras?
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In act 1 scene2, What does King Claudius say in his opening speech about his marriage and Fortinbras?
In the speech that Claudius makes in this scene, it is clear that he is trying to impart confidence to his courtiers and kingdom through a robust presentation of himself and his abilities. He refers to his marriage as a cause for joy as, although the Danish court is of course still grieving the former king, the marriage of Claudius to Gertrude is one that should strengthen the monarchy, as she is described as "Th'imperial jointress of this warlike state." As to Fortinbras, he has seen the death of the old King Hamlet as an opportunity to try and take back land that was lost by him. Note what Claudius says about this:
He hath not failed to pester us with message
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Claudius thus says that Fortinbras has tried to force Denmark to give back the land that was won by old King Hamlet, but that he has rejected any such attempts.
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