Tragedien af det danske Kongerige
Journal

March 6, 2014

I’ve been debating with myself for a while as to whether or not I’m gonna include the bloody end of the Danish kingdom in my museum. I usually like to put things in here that are somewhat unknown, but lately I’m thinking that this could be too good of an opportunity to pass up. I’ve been reading in the news that the Danes believe that keeping the ill-fated sword and cup in their possession is what keeps all the ghosts haunting their castle, so they’re going to auction them off. I’ve had a friend offer to help me bid on them, and it could be a major exhibit to further put my museum out there for everyone to experience. I’m just gonna have to look into other artifacts that I could use in addition to the sword and the cup. The main story of this event that happened goes like this:

            “The King of Denmark has been murdered, and his ghost haunts the castle still. His wife married her brother in law after her husband was killed. The poor prince, Hamlet, is slowly being driven insane. Perhaps it’s because of grief, maybe there’s different reasons; it’s unclear exactly what the cause is. There was a play performed, which is still performed to this day, and it was greatly upsetting to the King, and it seems to have been a breaking point as all the murders happen soon thereafter. Hamlet soon kills Polonius, a councillor to the King. Hamlet’s lover, Ophelia, was Polonius’s daughter. Driven mad by the fact that her lover killed her father, she commits suicide. By this point, the King has devised a plan to kill Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, will compete in a fencing match, in which Laertes will have a sharp sword edged in poison. If that doesn’t work, the King will have a glass of poisoned wine that he will offer Hamlet a drink from. During the match, Hamlet was cut by Laertes with the poisoned sword. Hamlet got the sword from him and cut him with it as well. During this, the Queen had taken a drink of the poisoned wine, and she then dies. Laertes ends up confessing to the whole ordeal, and Hamlet is infuriated. He stabs the king and then forces him to drink of the poison as well. The king then dies. By this point, the poison has worked its way through Laertes, and he dies from it as well. Hamlet knows he is about to die, and so he tells his friend Horatio (who was a witness to all these events and is the main source of knowledge about the whole story) to live and let everyone know what happened. Hamlet finally dies. The kingdom is shattered, so Norway sweeps in for an easy victory.”

It’s a little bit confusing to keep up with everything, so I’ll probably just highlight the event around whatever artifacts I manage to obtain.

March 10, 2014

Well, my friend and I went to the auction yesterday for the sword and the cup. There was a major competitor for us, and it got a little expensive, but we finally won! A battle well fought. Although I might have to up security as well… but I digress. It’s worth it. Now I need to obtain more pieces to help fill out the exhibit. I’ll have to think about what else I’d like to feature.

March 13, 2014

I found a painting of Queen Gertrude’s remarriage to her brother-in-law, the new king, Claudius. It was a portrait they commissioned of them together standing at the altar.It was at another museum I had gone to for a conference. I might try to buy it off of them, or I might just see if they’ll lend it out for awhile. It wasn’t on display, just sitting in the archives, so maybe they’ll be more inclined to get rid of it. At this other museum, they brought an interesting fact to my attention. They had a wall full of news articles about the Holocaust instead of pictures and artifacts. I think this might be a good idea to show all of the other happenings to see how they were covered in that time period. After all, there were no artifacts to be had from King Hamlet or Polonius’ death. Also, I’ve read articles about Hamlet and Ophelia’s insanity during my studies of this historic event. And what better way to show Fortinbras’ threats and eventual capture of the kingdom? I think it could be a very interesting way to present this information.

March 15, 2014

I’ve killed two birds with one stone. Well, maybe not one stone, but at the same time. As I was finding all of my news articles, I received a call from the museum I had visited telling me that they’d gladly lend me the painting of Gertrude and Claudius for as long as I needed, since they currently have no use for it. I also saw two other interesting mentions of other things that could be useful in my exhibit. I saw mentions of a love letter between Hamlet and Ophelia, and of a legend passed through the Danes of King Hamlet haunting the castle. I’m sure I can find the legend online, and I can mount it on a ghostly background to emphasize the eeriness. I’m probably going to have to settle for a replica of the original love letter as well. So, I suppose that’s what I’ll spend my time on tonight.

March 18, 2014

I had told a close cousin of mine that I was working on this exhibit, and she said she had been to a production of the play that was supposedly the same play performed for Hamlet during the time all of these going ons were occurring, and she bought the film of it. She offered to let me use it as a showing for my exhibit. I might just put it on a projector and keep it on a loop showing in the exhibit hall. I’ve also been searching for something to portray Ophelia’s death, and I found a beautiful portrait by John Everett Millais that I want to buy and put up. I’m in negotiations with the owner at this time, but it seems to be going in my favor.

March 20, 2014

Well, I was able to procure the portrait of Ophelia’s death yesterday. I’ve been putting up the artifacts as I get them, so the exhibit hall is now complete, and I’ll be opening it up next week. I’m giving it a little time to make sure that everything is put up to my satisfaction. I’ve also given some thought as to what I’m going to do next to top this exhibit. I think I might dedicate a large section to Edgar Allan Poe’s life. Of course, I’m also a fan of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s life and writings. Who knows what I’ll get into next?
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3 comments

3 Comments

Hello again Miss Adler. I find your case to be quite interesting. I understand that you are one who wishes to tell a story in as much detail as possible. This is why your museum flourishes extravagantly well. This exhibit seems to be coming together nicely. I believe there is still something a bit lacking. The story is missing a couple of pieces. The young friends of Hamlet who were sent to England with Hamlet. According to the documents of history Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were sent to England as escorts for Hamlet. They were given letters to hand to the King of England. These letters had the instructions for Hamlets death. However, Hamlet managed to discover this fact, so he switched the letters with ones regarding orders for their deaths instead. I think you ought to include this piece in your exhibit as well. As far as a physical representation, you can get a copy of the original letters from England. When working on this case myself I traveled to England to see what I could find out about their deaths. There I managed to get a look at the actual letters and the records of their beheading. An exhibit featuring Edgar Allen Poe or "Lewis Carroll" sound like good ideas for other exhibits. I believe an exhibit featuring the creator of the "Wonderland" we all know and love, would be most exhilarating.
Hello Miss Adler! It is always enjoyable for me to read about your findings and current projects. I am highly curious about this particular project, seeing as I have been looking into the same story as well. I was curious about your opinion of Ophelia's death. I was told it was a suicide, and most records rule it as such. I think it may not have been, seeing as so many terrible things were going on at the time. I can't wait to hear your reply!
Also, I completely agree with the idea of exhibits featuring Edgar Allen Poe and Lewis Carroll. They are two of my favorite authors, which makes it all the more exciting.
Hello again to both of you!

L- I've been whirling around trying to get all I could for the exhibit, so I guess I just somewhat left Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the side. Although since you've laid out an easy path for me to follow to get those artifact, I will gladly look into getting those letters!

Lucie- I believe there was foul play with Ophelia's death, but as we all know, it was recorded as a suicide. I just can't believe that the Queen would have just sat there and watch her as she drowned, and come out innocent. The Queen might not have gotten physically involved in the murder, but standing by idly as someone drowns still counts as murder in my book. I think she might have viewed Ophelia as a threat to her family's reputation. She was of too low status to be a good match for Hamlet, but he loved her still. The Queen might not have held her under the water, but giving no help is almost the same, in my opinion.

I appreciate both of your interests in my museum, as always. I believe I'm going to be creating a hall of my own "Wonderland" next, so be sure to stop by and check it out! Or of course, I could always give the two of you a behind-the-scenes tour. Keep in touch!