The Professional Theatre at Southern Utah University

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Elsinore

Elsinore

By Isabel Smith-Bernstein

Hamlet is Shakespeare’s only play set in Denmark. This is largely because the source texts are Scandinavian legends. Denmark and England also had some similarities—for instance, Denmark, like England, was a newly Protestant country. Unlike England, Denmark had a constitutional monarchy, which meant that the king was elected (for life) by the people. It is possible that Shakespeare saw some of his own England in Denmark, as the elected monarch of Denmark reflected the constant switching of monarchs in England over the last century.