Why is Hamlet given a military funeral?

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Fortinbras is not Danish; in fact, he is from Norway. And, to boot, Denmark and Norway were, apparently, at odds prior to the start of the play, as Fortinbras is angry about his father's death at the hands of Hamlet's father's forces. In other words, it seems possible that the Danes would be reluctant to accept Fortinbras's rule of Denmark, especially after all the drama and upset that have taken place in the Danish court: first Hamlet's father dies, then the queen remarries her brother-in-law so quickly, and now Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia, Claudius, Gertrude , and Hamlet are all dead. Therefore, despite Fortinbras's evident claim to the throne—he references his "rights of memory in this kingdom, / Which now to claim [his] vantage doth invite [him]" (5.2.432–433)—he may feel the need to make peace with Denmark and its people. Thus, his first act as Denmark's ruler will be to treat Hamlet with respect and...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 470 words.)

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