Hamlet Second Element of Setting: Place

William Shakespeare

Second Element of Setting: Place

A discussion of the setting of Hamlet is not complete without speaking of setting's other important element: the setting of place. Perhaps, as a reader, you are already familiar with one of the most famous quotations from Shakespeare: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Even though this exact line is found a bit later in the play, it's still important to focus upon the setting being so dramatically stated. Quite simply, Hamlet is set in the country of Denmark—specifically in the castle in the Danish city of Elsinore. Now, just as there is when considering the setting of time, there is a vast difference between analyzing the written play and the viewed production. Any one production of Hamlet could be set in any vast number of places, so for our purposes here, we will concentrate only on Shakespeare's exact words and confine our discussion of the setting to Denmark.