At the beginning of act 4, scene 4, of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, is crossing the stage with some of his soldiers on their way to do battle in Poland. Fortinbras leaves one of his captains behind to go to Claudius to request permission to pass through Denmark on their way to Poland.
Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and others are on their way to the ship that Claudius has arranged to take them to England, and they meet the captain of Fortinbras's army on his way to Elsinore. The Captain tells Hamlet that Fortinbras and his army are going to Poland to capture a worthless piece of land.
CAPTAIN. Truly to speak, and with no addition [without exaggeration],
We go to gain a little patch of ground
That hath in it no profit but the name. (4.4.18–20)
The captain says that he wouldn't give five ducats for the land. Hamlet is taken aback that so many men are willing to fight, and that some of them will die, for such an insignificant patch of land, simply because, as Hamlet says, the...
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