In scene 2 of Hamlet, Shakespeare portrays Denmark preparing for a possible war against Fortinbras of Norway. Horatio explains that Old Fortinbras dared Old Hamlet to battle in which courageous Old Hamlet killed Old Fortinbras. Not only did Norway lose their king but also land to Denmark. Horatio says that young Frotinbras is coming to Denmark to seek revenge for his father's death and to take back the land that Norway lost in the battle. To put it simply, Denmark is anticipating a retaliatory attack.
In the third scene, Claudius announces his marriage with Gretrude (wife of Old Hamlet and mother of young Hamlet) and he quickly turns mourning into celebration and moves on “With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage”. He mentions that young Fortinbras has written to him, demanding back the lands King Hamlet won from Fortinbras’s father, and he sends Cornelius and Voltimand with a message for the King of Norway, Fortinbras’s uncle to prevent Fortinbras from attacking Denmark. Also during this scene Claudius tells Hamlet to quit acting so ridiculous about his father's death. According to King Claudius, Hamlet’s excessive grief for his father is “unmanly” and it makes him appear weak and unreasonable. Claudius seems ambitious, manipulative, and cunning.
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