Just How Rotten Are Things in Denmark?: Feminism and Religion Blog Post

The Shakespearean quote, “something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” comes from a palace guard. After watching Prince Hamlet walk away with the ghost of Hamlet’s murdered father, the former King, the guard has a sinking feeling about how screwed up things are in his country.

And if you remember the play at all, things were pretty rotten. By the end of the story just about everybody dies. Revenge, misunderstandings, accidents, and lust for power are just a few of the causes of death. The guard was right. Something was rotting away at his country—something that was vacating people’s integrity and trust, something that was not afraid to use violence and lies to get its way, something that was blind with a hunger for more and more power no matter the cost.

Just before Hamlet walks away with his father’s ghost to be told to avenge his death, he bemoans the erosion of his country’s reputation due to excessive drinking among the people. All this revelry took away from their great accomplishments and made them less in the eyes of other nations. There is a visceral air to this moment when the word “rotten” is uttered that there is a process of decay and decomposition already in motion. And things will never be the same. (Read Full Post Here)

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