Is This Hamlet’s Ship? A Viking Reconstruction:
A couple of years ago there was an exhibition at the British Museum on the Viking culture. I bought the book that went with the exhibit called Vikings: Life and Legend by Gareth Williams, Peter Penz, and Matthias Wemhoff. It sounded interesting. I wish I could have seen it. Too bad they don’t put the exhibitions online the way they do with the permanent collection! But at least I was able to order a copy. Little did I know then that I would be writing a novel about Hamlet, who must have been a Viking or at least a descendant of Vikings in Denmark.
Fortinbras, whether he was the king of Norway or of Sweden right across the straits from Helsingor or Elsinore, obviously had a superior naval force or he would not be attacking and invading. He had probably already killed King Hamlet, Prince Hamlet’s father, in battle. Now Fortinbras was almost certainly after Hamlet, too, and Hamlet knew it. Was he going into battle like his father or was he going to escape somehow? Either way he would obviously have to get out one of his long boats, Viking style. We have pictured here in the blog post a reconstruction of just such a Viking long boat. It is a reconstruction of Skuldelev, which must have been a famous Viking ship. It is from the British Museum exhibition.