Act 5 : Scene 1 Essays

1407 Words Apr 19th, 2016 6 Pages
Act 5: Scene 1
Ophelia is to be buried in the churchyard and the two gravediggers preparing her grave find it unusual that someone who has committed suicide be buried on sacred ground. They agree that Ophelia is receiving a Christian burial because she is a gentlewoman, belonging to "great folk." They banter back and forth, trying to alleviate the boredom of digging. Horatio and Hamlet come upon the scene just as the second gravedigger is leaving to fetch some liquor from a nearby tavern. Hamlet is disturbed that the first gravedigger, who has begun to sing a love song, can be so happy on such a solemn occasion. Horatio replies that habit has made the gravedigger indifferent to the gravity of his work. The gravedigger produces a skull that belonged to the King 's jester, Yorick and Hamlet takes the skull, sparking his thoughts on death and its power to ravage even the most wealthy and powerful of people. A funeral procession approaches, and Hamlet sees the King and Queen and Laertes and asks who has died. Laertes, hysterical with grief, leaps into the grave, crying "Hold off the earth a while - Till I have caught her once more in mine arms" (5.1.250-51). When Hamlet realizes who is being buried, grief overcomes him too, and he leaps into the grave with Laertes, and they begin to grapple. The King 's attendants pull them out of the grave, and Hamlet exclaims: "I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers - Could not, with all their quantity of love - Make up my sum"…

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