Feng (Claudius)

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Feng was a legendary Jut chieftain and the prototype for William Shakespeare's King Claudius. He appears in Chronicon Lethrense and in Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum (book 3).

The Chronicon Lethrense (and the included Annales Lundenses) tell that the Danish king Rorik Slengeborre put Horwendill and Feng as his rulers in Jutland, and gave his daughter to Horwendill as a reward for his good services. Horwendill and the daughter had the son Amblothe (Hamlet). The jealous Feng killed Horwendill and took his wife. Amblothe understood that his life was in danger and tried to survive by faking insanity. Feng sent Amblothe to the king of Britain with two servants carrying a message that the British king should kill Amblothe. While the servants slept, Amblothe carved off the (probably runic) message and wrote that the servants should be killed and himself married to the king's daughter. The British king did what the message said. Exactly one year later, Feng drank to Amblothe's memory, but Amblothe appeared and killed him.

According to Saxo, Feng and Horwendill were the sons of Jutland's ruler Gervendill, and succeeded him as the rulers of Jutland. Rørik Slyngebond, king of Denmark, gave his daughter to Horwendill and she bore him the son Amleth. But Feng, out of jealousy, murdered Horwendill, and persuaded Gerutha to become his wife, on the plea that he had committed the crime for no other reason than to avenge her of a husband by whom she had been hated. Amleth, afraid of sharing...
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