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In Act 2, Scene 2, why does Hamlet call Denmark a prison?  Act 2, Scene 2, Line 247

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kirsch | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 5, 2007 at 3:25 AM via web

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In Act 2, Scene 2, why does Hamlet call Denmark a prison? 

Act 2, Scene 2, Line 247

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clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted December 5, 2007 at 3:44 AM (Answer #1)

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Denmark is a prison for Hamlet because he has realized that even his childhood friends cannot be trusted and that he is being spied on by many. Everyone seems to be watching him, much like prisoners are watched in a prison. In fact, Hamlet says that the world is a prison and Denmark is one of the worst dungeons because he feels there is no one he can trust. He feels betrayed by everyone, even himself at this point because the actor in the play was more intense in his revenge than Hamlet has been in his own real-life plot to avenge his own father's death. He feels trapped and alienated at this point in the play- feelings which only intensify as the plot unfolds.

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