In Shakespeare's Hamlet, where did Hamlet go to school?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Readers learn about Hamlet's occupation as a student in Act I.ii. Hamlet, King Claudius, and Queen Gertrude are all discussing the grief they feel over Hamlet's father's death. The Queen seems ready to move on with life. Hamlet is struggling and is somewhat suspicious of both the Queen and newly crowned King. This causes the King to offer his services as a new father to Hamlet. In this moment, readers learn that Hamlet had been studying in Wittenburg:

And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son
Do I impart toward you. For your intent(115)
In going back to school inĀ Wittenberg,
It is mostĀ retrograde to our desire;
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

This topic arises as the King and Queen hope to KEEP him from going back to school. They would rather he stayed home in the "cheer and comfort" of these living quarters, but most specifically under the watchful care of "our eye". It is important for the reader to understand Claudius wants to keep his eye on Hamlet.


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