On Shakespeare and Peanut Butter

I can pretty confidently say that Shakespeare and peanut butter are two of my absolute favorite things in this world. Lucky for me, one of these things absolutely flourished this weekend (and the other one…we’ll get to that).

the beautiful exterior entrance

After the first full week of classes had come and gone, a small group of DIS students decided to make the trek up to Helsingør to visit the Kronborg castle, the castle famously known for giving Shakespeare the inspiration for Elsinore, Hamlet’s ghost-ridden abode.

midmorning light coming in through the castle windows
on the water outside the castle

After getting on a half-hour-long train along the beautiful Danish countryside, I emerged onto one of the most lovely seaside areas I’ve seen thus far. The castle loomed in the distance.

Not only is the area of Kronborg absolutely beautiful and the castle majestic, but at this time of year the castle also had actors performing scenes from Hamlet throughout the actual castle. In the courtyard, we watched Laertes and Hamlet fence. In the ballroom, Ophelia ran past with her flowers and Gertrude drank a poisoned goblet. The actors interacted with the guests, creating an immersive and truthful show.

this is where the ghosts live, i’m sure

Needless to say, I was thriving. Hamlet has for years been one of my favorite plays. I’ve read it and watched it countless times, and I knew coming to Denmark that Kronborg was at the top of my list JUST to say I went to the “Hamlet Castle.” To get expertly-performed Shakespeare right in front of me? That was just an amazing plus.

Claudius and Gertrude

Watching my favorite play be performed in the place that inspired it almost immediately cured any homesickness I might have been feeling. I was in the birthplace of Hamlet, and I realized that Denmark is closer to my heart than I even realized. Horatio can speak to ghosts because he went to college, and I feel closer to Denmark because I love Hamlet. The theatre-literature-history lover in me is fully satisfied with my day trip today.

these reminded me of classic theatre ghostlights. probably to keep away all the ghosts.

Oh, and as for my love of peanut butter? Not fully satisfied. I’m adjusting, thank you for your thoughts and prayers, but I miss Jif. There is peanut butter here (despite what I read before coming), but it’s nothing like the much more processed peanut butter of my youth. There are so many beautiful jams and jellies here but they simply CANNOT be fully appreciated unless I can have them in a peanut butter and jelly. I will continue the search and update if it is satisfied.

And thus, the second week of classes begins. And if missing Jif peanut butter is the biggest of my problems right now, I’d say I’m pretty prepared to take it on.

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