The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1848 Tuesday, 24 July 2001
Date: Monday, 23 Jul 2001 14:47:35 -0400
Subject: 12.1835 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius
Comment: Re: SHK 12.1835 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius
> It seems to me that it *is* Claudius's fault that Fortinbras is able to
> walk into the country in the final scene. He gave him explicit
> permission to be there.
The diplomatic arrangement between Claudius and Norway required (II.ii):
... quiet pass
Through your dominions ...
On such regards of safety and allowance
As therein are set down.
Claudius does not immediately accept the terms, but
... at our more consider'd time we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business."
There is no reason to believe that Claudius made a military blunder. In
fact, there is every reason to believe that Fortinbras has not come to
attack Elsinore, but only to pay his respects (V.ii):
Young Fortinbras, with conquest comes from Poland,
To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.
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