The Struggle for Denmark

“The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil; and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness, and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me.”

Hamlet: 2.2.600-05.


Ymir

Ymir, the frost giant, is awoken from his rest at the conflict happening in Denmark between Hamlet and his uncle, Claudius. Ymir, unlike the human occupants of the kingdom, knows that the fate of Denmark rests upon the determination of a victor.

Ymir cares deeply because,

“From his skull was shaped the dome of the sky, and from his flesh was formed the soil of the fields, from his bones came the rocks, from his blood the rivers and seas, from his hair, all vegetation. His breath was the wind, his voice made thunder, his right eye became the moon, his left eye the sun, from his saliva or sweat came the rain. And from the vermin which covered his body came forth mankind.”

(Witzel 2017, 371)

As Ymir is a literal part of the landscape, their personal stake is clear. There must be peace in Denmark, no matter what the cost.

Hamlet

Convinced entirely that Claudius has had his father murdered, due to visions of his father’s ghost, Hamlet seems no other option than to wage a sort of war against his uncle, and his mother, Gertrude, if necessary.

Claudius

He is determined to hang on to not only the throne, but his new wife, Gertrude. He has always wanted what his brother possessed and finally, it is his! The last thing he needs is Hamlet mucking things up for him both directly and indirectly.

The War

Ymir, the frost giant, is of the mind that the only way that this contention might be resolved is through armed combat. As each side martials an army upon the battlefield, Ymir themselves cannot claim to know who the victor would be, only that this matter must be settled, one way or the other. As a primordial spirit of Norse mythology, they have a vested interest in the peace of Denmark.

The Factual Underpins

Hamlet is based upon history recorded in Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum books three (3) and four (4).

It is common knowledge that the Danes of the time period recorded by Saxo Grammaticus were followers of the Norse religion, or the Norse pantheon. This means that their belief system was similar, if not the same, as Icelander, Snorri Sturluson, who recorded the story of Ymir in the Poetic Edda.

The Ymir Event

The war element will be posed as a battle between Hamlet and his uncle, King Claudius. The proposed combatants will choose a side to support, along with the A&S community. War points will be given along those grounds. 

In executing this theme, there will be the opportunity to feature original Elizabethan plays by fellow Scadians, theater and drama in court with ghostly apparitions and inconvenient stabbings. Also, someone could hie themselves to the nunnery…

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