Why Claudius and not Hamlet?

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Why does Claudius inherit the crown instead of Hamlet? It seems that after a king died, the next in line would be his son. Any thoughts?

-- Karen W. (kdw85@yahoo.com), February 09, 2005


Denmark has an elective monarchy, ie, the kings are elected, something like prime ministers or presidents, except they are kings. I'm not sure who exactly has the right to vote, though the play seems to indicate it might be a large proportion of the male populace: see I.iii.20-28, IV.iii.3-7, IV.v.84-112, V.ii.66, V.ii.297-298 ('voice' means vote).

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), February 09, 2005.

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