'E and the King of Denmark would have been great pals


Senior Member

Friends, I came across this phrase in the story "By Advice of Councel" by P.G. Wodehouse:

...He was kind of simple. Liked to put in his days pottering about the little garden he'd made for himself, looking after his flowers and his fowls, and sit of an evening listening to Gentleman 'olding forth on Life. He was a philosopher, Gentleman was. And Jerry took everything he said as gospel. He didn't want no proofs. 'E and the King of Denmark would have been great pals. He just sat by with his big blue eyes getting rounder every minute and lapped it up.

The Gentleman in the story refers to "Bailey" whom Jerry has a lot of respect for.

Now my problem is with this part: 'E and the King of Denmark would have been great pals.
What does he mean by this sentence?

Thanks in advance.
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    They would have been great pals if they had had a chance to become great pals. And why didn't they have this chance? I don't know the context; maybe they didn't even meet. :D


    English - England
    The King of Denmark is a reference to Hamlet in the Shakespeare's play "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" The speaker confuses Hamlet as the King - he is not.

    Hamlet, in the play, spends a lot of time speaking his thoughts out loud and his thoughts are usually concerned with philosophy. The thoughts of the "Gentleman" are also philosophical.


    Senior Member

    I think it might be a reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet (but wasn't he Prince of Denmark?). Unfortunately, my limited knowledge of the play doesn't allow me to speculate any further.

    Cross-posted with a much more helpful answer!
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