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These lines from the play dialogue, Scene by Scene, demonstrate the existence of the Death Theme in the play, and indicate its significance. Or perhaps prevalence is the better word. I count Death as a play Theme because of tradition, but primarily because it is a major motivator for action. The lines usually speak for themselves, but I include a brief comment where it seems necessary. I include only the more obvious lines. There are subtle and implicit allusions which are not listed here.

Scene 1

Scene 1#047 Bernardo: In the same figure like the King that's dead.

Scene 1#055 In which the Majesty of buried Denmark - the word buried obviously refers to King Hamlet being dead.

Scene 1#074 Marcellus: Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour, - a figurative use of dead but not without recognition that the image of the dead King has appeared.

Scene 1#096 Did slay this Fortinbrasse, who, by a sealed compact - I include in the Death Theme words like "slay."

Scene 1#01-125 The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead

Scene 2

Scene 2#001 Claudius: Though yet of Hamlet, our dear brother's, death,

Scene 2#012 With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage, - the word funeral is too obvious to skip.

Scene 2#019 Or thinking by our late, dear brother's death,

Scene 2#073 Thou know'st 'tis common all that lives must die,

Scene 2#104 A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,

Scene 2#106 Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried

Scene 2#107 From the first course till he that died today;

Scene 2#134 His cannon 'gainst 'seal' slaughter; God, God, - slaughter is obviously a "death" word.

Scene 2#140 But two months dead, nay, not so much, not two;

Scene 2#178 Horatio: My Lord, I came to see your father's funeral.

Scene 2#182 Hamlet: Thrift, thrift, Horatio: The funeral baked meats

Scene 2#203 In the dead waste and middle of the night,

Scene 3

Scene 3#123 Giving more light than heat, extinct in both - The word extinct has a figurative meaning of death, the death of the "light and heat," as Polonius puts it, of youthful passion.

Scene 4

Scene 4#001 Hamlet: The air bites shroudly, is it very cold? - I include this line, although it's subtle, to give the word shroudly more emphasize and recognition, since it means "like a death shroud."

Scene 4#050 Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death, - The speech is steeped in Death concepts, as is the entire Scene.

Scene 4#055 That thou dead corpse, again in complete steel,

Scene 4#094 By Heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me; - A death threat.

Scene 4#099 Marcellus: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. - The line can be interpreted as "I smell death in Denmark."

Scene 5

Scene 5#042 Is by a forged process of my death

Scene 5#029 Ghost: . . . Revenge his foul, and most unnatural, murder. - Where there's murder there's death, obviously.

Scene 5#079 Of life, of crown, of Queen, at once dispatched; - Dispatched has a meaning of death.

Scene 5#080 Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, - Cut off has a meaning of death.

Scene 5#082 No reckoning made, but sent to my account - Sent to my account has a meaning of death.

Scene 6

Scene 6#102 And end his being; that done, he lets me go, - End his being is a death reference.

Scene 7

Scene 7#008 More than his father's death, that thus hath put him

Scene 7#060 His father's death, and our o'er-hasty marriage.

Scene 7#196 Hamlet: For, if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a

Scene 7#219 Hamlet: Into my grave.

Scene 8

Scene 9

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Scene 11

Scene 12

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Scene 20

© 2014 Jeffrey Paul Jordan

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