By his cockle hat and staff, And his sandal shoon.

The addition of the word “shoon” to sandal improves the word “sandal” immensely. I mean, sure, for us now, shoon is a bit redundant. But it’s a bit like – it makes it more cool. Sandals have lost their cred. Sandal shoe or the plural sandal shoon makes them a bit more exotic. It sounds Scandinavian, in fact – which is interesting – there’s not much language in this play that evokes the Scandinavian, despite its Danish setting. Claudius, Hamlet, Ophelia, Horatio, Gertrude, Marcellus, Barnardo, Laertes, Polonius…no one in this play has a Danish name. The court is full of Latin names, for one. With maybe a hint of German. Sandal Shoon is about the most Danish sounding thing in the whole play.


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