something is rotten in the state of Denmark

something is rotten in (the state of) Denmark

Something strange or suspicious is going on. The line comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Why is Katherine being so nice to me all of a sudden? I'm telling you, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

something is rotten in the state of Denmark

Something is seriously amiss; there is a smell of corruption. This expression is a direct quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (4.1). Eric Partridge suggested that rotten was originally an analogy to cheese, for which Denmark has long been famous, and that possibly the expression was a catchphrase even when Shakespeare used it.
References in periodicals archive ?
The second is that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, says a character as Shakespeares play Hamlet begins.
Marcellus, guarding the castle, remarks that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. He is saying that under King Hamlet's reign, Denmark was a healthy and prosperous kingdom, but the rule of the malicious and ferocious King Claudius, it is now rotten to the core.
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" is a line spoken by the character Marcellus in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet.
The section is titled "Something is rotten in the world," inspired by the well-known line from "Hamlet" -- "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
On November 26, a bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra had said," Something is rotten in the State of Denmark, said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court."
" Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, said Shakespeare in Hamlet , and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court," the bench of Justice Katju and Justice G.
And William Shakespeare got it spot on in Hamlet when he wrote 'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark'.
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