For he was likely, had he been put on, To have proved most royal:

This is a nice thought and as Hamlet is our guy after watching this whole play about him, we think well of Fortinbras for thinking well of Hamlet. Maybe Hamlet would have been a good king, maybe not and certainly his uncle screwed him out of the chance either way. It kind of doesn’t matter whether he could have been good at it. That’s the thing with kings – they’re not Merit Based. A lousy king is as important as a good one – if not more important somehow.

Yet I think Shakespeare gives Fortinbras this line to endear him to the audience. We like Hamlet and so we like a guy who likes him, too – one who would have liked to see him in the king’s seat.


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