Full thirty times both Phoebus’ cart gone round Neptune’s salt wash and Tellus’ orbéd ground, And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen About the world have times twelve thirties been Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands, Unite commutual in most sacred bands.

This is a confusing timeline.
At first hit, this marriage would seem to be thirty years long, if we imagine that Phoebus’ cart journey is reflective of a year. But generally, Phoebus, the sun, is thought to go round the earth every day – which would put us at thirty days.
Then we have thirty dozen moons? Thirty moons would be around 30 months. But what is thirty dozen? 12 x 30? – ah, yes, 12 months times thirty – which re-iterates the 30 years idea.
So really, the king here is saying it’s been thirty years again and again, in possibly the most obscure language possible.

My question then becomes – is this a mirror of Gertrude’s first marriage? It’s possible. Generally, Hamlet’s accepted age is 33. But I have yet to see where exactly that reference comes in. Is it the gravedigger scene? I can’t recall.
But – I guess this player marriage is at least in the Ballpark of the Gertrude & Hamlet partnership in terms of years. 30 to 35 years in that marriage? It’s all in the same neighborhood.


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