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Act I scene 2 in Hamlet takes place inside the castle, Elsinore. In a ceremony to the people of Denmark, Claudius announces that though the people are sad about the loss of King Hamlet, he has decided to take Gertrude as his wife. It is his hope that despite the sadness they are suffering, hopefully the marriage will bring them some joy.
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature(5)
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointressto this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,(10)
With an auspicious, and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife.
Claudius also assigns Voltemand and Cornelius to go to Norway to deliver dispatches to their king asking them to restrain Fortinbras and keep him out of their country.
Claudius also, after telling Hamlet he cannot go back to college, gives Laertes permission to go to France for school:
Take thy fair hour, Laertes. Time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will!(65)
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