Scene 19

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Synopsis

At the Graveyard, the coroner's court Deputy has already informed the Sexton of the court's decision. As the Scene begins, we find the Sexton arguing with the Deputy. The Clown Sexton asserts that Ophelia killed herself, and he questions whether she deserves Christian burial. After wasting a lot of time giving the Deputy a hard time, the Sexton begins digging. The Deputy, having done his duty for the court, leaves.

Hamlet and Horatio enter. They discuss the Sexton's behavior and the grave, then Hamlet speaks to the Sexton. Hamlet and the Sexton engage in some repartee. Hamlet says the famous "poor Yorick" speech.

Ophelia's funeral procession approaches. Hamlet and Horatio hide to watch, wondering whose funeral it is.

Laertes argues with the Doctor of Divinity who's conducting the service and, carried away, jumps down into the grave excavation. Hamlet, having learned it's Ophelia's funeral, and outraged by Laertes's behavior, jumps into the grave excavation to confront him. They're separated after a brief scuffle.

Hamlet exits, followed by Horatio. Claudius draws Laertes aside, reminds him of their fencing match scheme to kill Hamlet, and says they'll proceed with that right away.

Characters

The Scene 19 Characters are: Clown Sexton, Clown Deputy, Hamlet, Horatio, Laertes, Doctor of Divinity, Gertrude, Claudius.

Passage Links

Hamlet and Horatio entry #056-SD, "poor Yorick" speech #155, funeral procession entry #182-SD
Hamlet jumps into grave #229-SD

Jump down to the Notes.


Dialogue

Scene 19      [ ~ Poor Yorick ~ ]      (Act 5 Scene 1)

#19-Setting: Outside the Castle;
            The Graveyard;
            Daytime.

#19-000-SD  (a Clown Sexton and a Clown Deputy enter)

#19-001  Clown Sexton:  Is she to be buried in Christian burial, when she willfully
                        Is she to have a Christian burial, when she intentionally
#19-002        seeks her own salvation?
                        seeks her own path to Heaven?
#19-003  Clown Deputy:  I tell thee she is; therefore, make her grave straight; the
                        I tell you she is, so make her grave properly. The
#19-004        crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian burial.
                        coroner has sat in judgment on her case, and his verdict is for a Christian burial.
#19-005  Clown Sexton:  How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own
                        How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own
#19-006        defense?
                        defense?
#19-007  Clown Deputy:  Why, 'tis found so.
                        Why, it is adjudged so.
#19-008  Clown Sexton:  It must be 'se offendendo', it cannot be else; for, here lies the
                        It must be a legal technicality, it can't be otherwise, because, here's the
#19-009        point: if I drown my self wittingly, it argues an act, & an act hath
                        point: if I drown myself intentionally it's an act, and an act has
#19-010        three branches: it is to act, to do, to perform, or all; argal she drowned her
                        three branches, which are to act, to do, to perform, or all of those, ergo she
#19-011        self wittingly.
                        drowned herself intentionally.
#19-012  Clown Deputy:  Nay, but hear you, good man delver . . .
                        No, but listen, good man digger . . .
#19-013  Clown Sexton:  Give me leave; here lies the water, good; here stands the
                        Let me continue.  Here is the water, okay, and here stands a
#19-014        man, good; if the man go to this water & drown himself, it is will
                        man, very well, now, if the man goes to the water and drowns himself it is
#19-015        he, nill he, he goes, mark you that, but if the water come to him, &
                        willy-nilly he goes, be sure of that.  But if the water comes to him and
#19-016        drown him, he drowns not himself; argal, he that is not guilty of
                         drowns him, he doesn't drown himself, ergo, he who is not guilty of
#19-017        his own death, shortens not his own life.
                        his own death, doesn't shorten his own life.
#19-018  Clown Deputy:  But is this law?
                        But is this the law?
#19-019  Clown Sexton:  Aye, marry, is it!  Crowner's quest law.
                        Yes, indeed!  It's coroner's inquest law.
#19-020  Clown Deputy:  Will you have the truth on it?  If this had not been a gentlewoman,
                        Do you want the truth about it?  Had she not been a gentlewoman
#19-021        she should have been buried out of Christian burial.
                        she would have been buried without Christian ceremony.
#19-022  Clown Sexton:  Why, there thou sayest; and the more pity that great folk
                        Why, you have said it there. And more's the pity that high-status people
#19-023        should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves,
                        should have permission in this world to drown or hang themselves,
#19-024        more than their even 'Christen.'  Come, my spade; there is no ancient
                        moreso than equally-Christian others.  Hand me my spade.  There are no ancestral
#19-025        gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold
                        gentlemen except gardeners, ditchers, and gravediggers - they sustain
#19-026        up Adam's profession.
                        Adam's profession.
#19-027  Clown Deputy:  Was he a gentleman?
                        Was Adam a gentleman?
#19-028  Clown Sexton:  He was the first that ever bore arms.
                        He was the first to ever bear arms.
#19-029  Clown Deputy:  Why, he had none.
                        Why, he had no such arms.
#19-030  Clown Sexton:  What, art a heathen?  How dost thou understand
                        What, are you a heathen?  How do you understand
#19-031        the Scripture?  The Scripture says Adam digged;
                        the Bible?  The Bible says Adam digged -
#19-032        could he dig without arms?
                        could he dig without arms?
#19-033        I'll put another question to thee; if thou answerest me not to the
                        I'll put another question to you, and if you can't answer it
#19-034        purpose, confess thyself.
                        properly, admit that I've got you.
#19-035  Clown Deputy:  Go to.
                        Go ahead.
#19-036  Clown Sexton:  What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the
                        What is the man who builds stronger than either a mason, a
#19-037        shipwright, or the carpenter?
                        shipwright, or a carpenter?
#19-038  Clown Deputy:  The gallows maker, for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
                        The gallows maker, because what he builds outlasts a thousand occupants.
#19-039  Clown Sexton:  I like thy wit well, in good faith, the gallows does well,
                        I like your cleverness well.  Indeed, "the gallows" is an answer that does well -
#19-040        but how does it well?  It does well to those that do ill.  Now thou
                        but how does it do well?  The gallows does well to those who do ill.  Now you
#19-041        dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church, argal,
                        do ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church, ergo,
#19-042        the gallows may do well to thee.  To it again, come.
                        the gallows might do you well.  Try again, come on.
#19-043  Clown Deputy:  Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a
                        Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a
#19-044        carpenter?
                        carpenter?
#19-045  Clown Sexton:  Aye, tell me that, and unyoke.
                        Yes, tell me the answer, and your job is done.
#19-046  Clown Deputy:  Marry, now I can tell.
                        Goodness, now I know.
#19-047  Clown Sexton:  To it.
                        Let's hear it.
#19-048  Clown Deputy:  Mass, I cannot tell.
                        Oh dear, I don't know.
#19-049  Clown Sexton:  Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for, your dull ass will
                        Don't beat your brain any more about it, since a slow jackass will
#19-050        not mend his pace with beating, and when you are asked this question
                        not go faster if you beat it.  When you're asked this question,
#19-051        next, say "a gravemaker."  The houses he makes last till doomsday.
                        next time, say "a gravemaker," because the "houses" he makes last until doomsday.
#19-052        Go, get thee in, and fetch me a stoup of liquor.    #19-052-SD (points in the direction of the church;
                        Go, go in there, and fetch me a mug of wine.              the Clown Deputy exits)
#19-053    (sings):  In youth, when I did love, did love,
                        In my youth when I did love, did love,
#19-054        Methought it was very sweet
                        I thought it was very sweet,
#19-055    To contract o' the time for a' my behoove,
                        To take the time for all I pleased,
#19-056        Oh, methought there was nothing a' meet.
                        Oh, I thought there was nothing as fit and proper.

#19-056-SD  (Hamlet and Horatio enter)

#19-057  Hamlet:  Has this fellow no feeling of his business?  He sings in
                        Doesn't this fellow have any feeling for what he's doing?  He's singing while
#19-058        grave making.
                        digging a grave.
#19-059  Horatio:  Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
                        He's so used to it, it doesn't bother him.
#19-060  Hamlet:  'Tis even so; the hand of little employment hath the dintier sense.
                        So it is.  A hand not callused by hard work is more easily impressed.
#19-061  Clown Sexton (sings):  But age, with his stealing steps,
                        But age, with its stealthy steps,
#19-062        hath caught me in his clutch,
                        has caught me in its clutches
#19-063        And hath shipped me intill the land,
                        And has shipped me to the land of no return
#19-064        as if I had never been such.               #19-064-SD (tosses out a skull)
                        as if I had never been a youth.
#19-065  Hamlet:  That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once; how the
                        That skull once had a tongue in it, and could sing.  Look how the
#19-066        knave jowls it to the ground, as if 'twere Cain's jawbone, that did the
                        knave tosses it on the ground, as if it were the jawbone of Cain, who did the
#19-067        first murder; this might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now
                        first murder.  It might be the head of a politician, whom this jackass now
#19-068        o'er-offices; one that would circumvent God, might it not?
                        outranks - one who hoped to outwit God, might it not be?
#19-069  Horatio:  It might, my Lord.
                        It might be, my Lord.
#19-070  Hamlet:  Or of a courtier, which could say good morrow, sweet lord,
                        Or, that of a courtier, who could say, "Good morning, sweet Lord,
#19-071        how dost thou, sweet lord?  This might be my Lord Such-a-one, that
                        how are you, sweet Lord?"  It might be Lord So-and-so, who once
#19-072        praised my Lord Such-a-one's horse when he meant to beg it, might it not?
                        praised my Lord Whoever's horse when he hoped to borrow it, might it not?
#19-073  Horatio:  Aye, my Lord.
                        Yes, my Lord.
#19-074  Hamlet:  Why even so, & now my Lady Worm's; chopless, & knocked
                        Yes, even so, and now it's Lady Worm's - jawless, and knocked
#19-075        about the massen with a sexton's spade; here's fine revolution and
                        around in the grave excavation with a sexton's spade.  Here's a fine turn of events, and
#19-076        we had the trick to see it; did these bones cost no more the breeding,
                        we had the luck to see it.  Were these bones worth no more in bearing, rearing, and educating them,
#19-077        but to play at loggets with them?  Mine ache to think on it.
                        than to play games with them?  My bones ache as I think about it.
#19-078  Clown Sexton (sings):  A pickaxe and a spade, a spade,
                        A pickaxe and a spade, a spade,
#19-079        for and a shrouding sheet,
                        and also a shrouding sheet,
#19-080        Oh, a pit of clay for to be made
                        Oh, a pit of clay that's to be made,
#19-081        for such a guest is meet.            #19-081-SD (tosses out another skull)
                        for such a guest, is proper.
#19-082  Hamlet:  There's another; why, may not that be the skull of a lawyer?
                        There's another one!  Why, couldn't that be the skull of a lawyer?
#19-083        Where be his quiddities now, his quillites, his cases, his tenures, and his
                        Where are his various legal technicalities now, his cases, his terms, and his
#19-084        tricks?  Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about
                        legal tricks?  Why does he tolerate that this cross knave can now knock him about
#19-085        the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action
                        the head with a dirty shovel, and will not inform him that he has been sued
#19-086        of battery?  Hmm, this fellow might be, in his time, a great buyer of
                        for battery?  Hmm, this fellow might have been, in his time, a great buyer of
#19-087        land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his
                        land, with his statutory bonds, his personal bonds, his fines, his double vouchers, and his
#19-088        recoveries; is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries,
                        lawsuits.  Is this the finality of his fines, and the attainment of his attainments -
#19-089        to have his fine pate full of fine dirt, will vouchers
                        to have his fine head full of fine dirt, and will vouchers
#19-090        vouch him no more of his purchases & doubles than the length
                        vouch him no more land out of his purchases and doubles, than the length
#19-091        and breadth of a pair of indentures?  The very conveyances of his
                        and width of a pair of contract indentures?  All his paperwork for his
#19-092        lands will scarcely lie in this box, & must the inheritor himself have
                        lands would barely fit inside his grave plot, but is the only land he's
#19-093        no more?  Ha.
                        ended up occupying just the size of his own grave?  Ha!
#19-094  Horatio:  Not a jot more, my Lord.
                        Not a bit more than that, my Lord.
#19-095  Hamlet:  Is not parchment made of sheepskins?
                        Isn't parchment made of sheepskin?
#19-096  Horatio:  Aye, my Lord, and of calfskins too.
                        Yes, my Lord, and of calfskin, too.
#19-097  Hamlet:  They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in
                        Persons are only sheep and calves when they look for certainty in
#19-098        that; I will speak to this fellow.  Whose grave's this, sirrah?
                        land deeds.  I'll talk to the fellow. Whose grave is this, sirrah?
#19-099  Clown Sexton:  Mine, sir.
                        It's mine, sir.
#19-100  (sings):  Oh, a pit of clay for to be made
                        Oh, a pit of clay that's to be made,
#19-101        for such a guest is meet.
                        for such a guest, is proper.
#19-102  Hamlet:  I think it be thine indeed, for thou liest in it.
                        I think it must be your grave, indeed, because you're lying in it.
#19-103  Clown Sexton:  You lie out of it, sir, and therefore 'tis not yours; for my part I
                        You're lying out of it, sir, so it can't be yours. As for me, I
#19-104        do not lie in it, yet it is mine.
                        do not lie in it, but yet, it is mine.
#19-105  Hamlet:  Thou dost lie in it, to be in it & say it is thine; 'tis for the dead,
                        You do lie in it, to be in it and say it's yours - it's for the dead,
#19-106        not for the quick, therefore, thou liest.
                        not for the living, therefore, you lie.
#19-107  Clown Sexton:  'Tis a quick lie, sir, 'twill away again from me to you.
                        It's a quick lie, sir, because it will quickly go again from me to you.
#19-108  Hamlet:  What man dost thou dig it for?
                        What man do you dig it for?
#19-109  Clown Sexton:  For no man, sir.
                        For no man, sir.
#19-110  Hamlet:  What woman, then?
                        What woman, then?
#19-111  Clown Sexton:  For none, neither.
                        For no woman, either.
#19-112  Hamlet:  Who is to be buried in it?
                        Who's to be buried in it?
#19-113  Clown Sexton:  One that was a woman, sir, but rest her soul, she's dead.
                        One who was a woman, sir, but rest her soul, she's dead.
#19-114  Hamlet (aside to Horatio):  How absolute the knave is.  We must speak by the card, or
                        How impertinent the knave is.  We must speak according to the script, or
#19-115        equivocation will undo us.  By the Lord, Horatio, these three years I
                        ambiguity will be our downfall.  By Lord, Horatio, during these three years since we met, I
#19-116        have took note of it: the age is grown so picked, that the toe of the
                        have taken notice of it: the times have become so socially jumbled, that the toe of the
#19-117        peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kybe.
                        peasant walks so close on the heel of the courtier, he chafes his chilblain.
#19-118  (resumes):  How long hast thou been gravemaker?
                        How long have you been a gravemaker?
#19-119  Clown Sexton:  Of the days in the year, I came to it that day that our last king,
                        Of the dates in the year, I began this job on the date that our late King,
#19-120        Hamlet, overcame Fortinbrasse.
                        Hamlet, defeated Fortinbrasse.
#19-121  Hamlet:  How long is that since?
                        How long ago was that?
#19-122  Clown Sexton:  Cannot you tell that?  Every fool can tell that; it was that
                        Don't you know?  Any fool could answer that question.  It was the
#19-123        very day that young Hamlet was born: he that is mad and sent into
                        very same date that young Hamlet was born - he who is mad and has been sent to
#19-124        England.
                        England.
#19-125  Hamlet:  Aye, marry, why was he sent into England?
                        Oh, goodness, why was he sent to England?
#19-126  Clown Sexton:  Why?  Because he was mad.  He shall recover his wits there, or if
                        Why?  Because he was mad.  He'll recover his wits there, or if
#19-127        he do not, 'tis no great matter there.
                        he doesn't, it won't matter much there.
#19-128  Hamlet:  Why?
                        Why not?
#19-129  Clown Sexton:  'Twill not be seen in him there; there, the men are as mad
                        It won't be noticed in him there, because there, all the men are as crazy
#19-130        as he.
                        as he is.
#19-131  Hamlet:  How came he mad?
                        How did he become mad?
#19-132  Clown Sexton:  Very strangely, they say.
                        Very strangely, they say.
#19-133  Hamlet:  How strangely?
                        How strangely?
#19-134  Clown Sexton:  Faith, even with losing his wits.
                        Goodness, he went mad by losing his mind.
#19-135  Hamlet:  Upon what ground?
                        But upon what grounds?
#19-136  Clown Sexton:  Why, here in Denmark.  I have been 'Sexten' here, man
                        Why, here in Denmark. I have been sixteen years here, a man
#19-137        and boy thirty years.
                        and boy for thirty years.
#19-138  Hamlet:  How long will a man lie in the earth ere he rot?
                        How long will a man lie in the earth before he rots?
#19-139  Clown Sexton:  Faith, if he be not rotten before he die, (as we have many
                        Well, if he isn't already rotten before he dies, (and we get many
#19-140        pocky corpses nowadays, that will scarce hold the laying in,) he will last you some eight
                        diseased corpses now that will hardly hold together,) a body will last some eight
#19-141        year, or nine year.  A tanner will last you nine year.
                        years, or nine years.  A tanner will last for nine years.
#19-142  Hamlet:  Why he more then another?
                        Why will his body last longer than another?
#19-143  Clown Sexton:  Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that he will keep
                        Why, sir, his own hide is so tanned from his occupation, that it will keep
#19-144        out water a great while; & your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson
                        water out a long time, and water is a severe decayer of your bastard
#19-145        dead body; here's a skull now hath 'lyen' you in the earth 23 years.
                        dead body.  Now, here's a skull that has lain for you in the earth for 23 years.
#19-146  Hamlet:  Whose was it?
                        Whose was it?
#19-147  Clown Sexton:  A whoreson mad fellow's it was; whose do you think it was?
                        A bastard mad fellow's, it was!  Whose do you suppose it was?
#19-148  Hamlet:  Nay, I know not.
                        No, I don't know.
#19-149  Clown Sexton:  A pestilence on him for a mad rogue!  He poured a flagon of
                        A plague on him as a mad rogue!  He poured a mug of
#19-150        Rhenish on my head once; this same skull, sir - this same skull, sir - was Sir Yorick's skull, the
                        Rhenish wine over my head once.  This exact skull, sir - this same one - was Sir Yorick's skull, the
#19-151        King's Jester.
                        King's jester.
#19-152  Hamlet:  This?
                        That?
#19-153  Clown Sexton:  Even that.
                        Exactly that.
#19-154  Hamlet:  Let me see.
                        Let me see it.
#19-155  (aside to Horatio):  Alas, poor Yorick!  I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite
                        Alas, poor Yoricke.  I knew him, Horatio, he was a fellow of endless
#19-156        jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath bore me on his back a thousand
                        jests, of most excellent whimsy.  He carried me aboard his back a thousand
#19-157        times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is!  My gorge
                        times, and now how abhorrent to my thoughts this skull is. I feel nauseous
#19-158        rises at it.  Here hung those lips that I have kissed, I know not how
                        looking at it.  Here were those lips that I once kissed, I don't know how
#19-159        often; where be your gibes now?  Your gambols, your songs, your flashes
                        often.  Where is your teasing, now?  Your frolicking, your songs, your bursts
#19-160        of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?  Not one,
                        of merriment, that would make everyone at the table laugh out loud?  No one,
#19-161        now, to mock your own grinning, quite chopfallen?  Now get you        #19-161-SD (drops the skull into the
                        now, to ape your own grinning? - very down at the mouth.  Now, go    grave excavation)
#19-162        to my lady's chamber, & tell her: let her paint an inch thick, to this favor
                        to my lady's dressing room, and tell her: put her makeup on an inch thick, this kindness is
#19-163        she must come; make her laugh at that.
                        what she must come to, and make her laugh at that.
#19-164        Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing.
                        Please, Horatio, tell me one thing.
#19-165  Horatio:  What's that, my Lord?
                        What's that, my Lord?
#19-166  Hamlet:  Dost thou think, Alexander, looked he this fashion in the earth?
                        Do you think, Alexander the Great, did he look this way in the earth?
#19-167  Horatio:  Even so.
                        Yes, even so.
#19-168  Hamlet:  And smelt so?  Pah.
                        And smelled like this?  P. U.
#19-169  Horatio:  Even so, my Lord.
                        Even so, my Lord.
#19-170  Hamlet:  To what base uses we may return Horatio?  Why may not
                        To what crude uses might we return, Horatio?  Why can't
#19-171        imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping
                        imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, until we find it plugging
#19-172        a bunghole?
                        a cask?
#19-173  Horatio:  'Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.
                        It would be to contemplate too meticulously, to contemplate like that.
#19-174  Hamlet:  No, faith, not a jot.  But, to follow him thither with modesty
                        No, goodness, not a bit.  Only, to follow him there with humility
#19-175        enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus: Alexander died, Alexander was
                        enough, and probability to lead the way, like so: Alexander died, Alexander was
#19-176        buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we
                        buried, Alexander returned to the dust, the dust is earth, out of earth we
#19-177        make loam, & why, of that loam whereto he was converted, might
                        make loam, so why couldn't that loam into which Alexander was converted
#19-178        they not stop a beer-barrel?
                        be used to make a plug for a beer barrel?
#19-179  (recites):  Imperial Caesar dead, and turned to clay,
                        Imperial Caesar dead, and turned into clay,
#19-180        Might stop a hole, to keep the wind away.
                        Might plug a hole to keep the draft away.
#19-181        Oh, that that earth which kept the world in awe,
                        Oh, that that flesh which held the world in awe
#19-182        Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw.
                        Should patch a wall to keep out the winter's flurry.

#19-182-SD  (Ophelia's funeral procession enters, with her corpse;
             Claudius, Gertrude, and Laertes enter, accompanied by the royal entourage, and mourners;
                 the Clown Sexton exits to ring the church bell)
   (Hamlet continues):
#19-183        But soft, but soft aside; here comes the King,
                        But hush, let's move quietly away, here comes the King, and
#19-184        The Queen, the courtiers; who is this they follow?
                        The Queen, the courtiers . . . whose body do they follow?
#19-185        And with such maimed rites?  This doth betoken,
                        And with such deficient rites?  This indicates,
#19-186        The 'corse' they follow, did with desperate hand
                        The corpse they follow did, with a desperate hand,
#19-187        Fordo its own life; 'twas of some estate;
                        Take its own life.  It was of some high social status.
#19-188        Couch we a while, and mark.
                        Let's lie here a while and watch.
#19-189  Laertes:  What ceremony else?
                        What ceremony, in addition to this?
#19-190  Hamlet:  That is Laertes, a very noble youth, mark.
                        That is Laertes, a very noble youth, notice.
#19-191  Laertes:  What ceremony else?
                        What ceremony in addition?
#19-192  Doctor of Divinity:  Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
                        Her funeral rites have been elaborated as far
#19-193        As we have warranty; her death was doubtful,
                        As we have religious authority.  Her death was suspicious,
#19-194        And but that great command o'er-sways the order,
                        And except that a royal command has overruled religious directives,
#19-195        She should in ground unsanctified been lodged
                        She would, in unblessed ground, have been housed
#19-196        Till the last trumpet.  For charitable prayers,
                        Until Judgment Day.  Instead of charitable prayers,
#19-197        {Sharp} flints and pebbles should be thrown on her.
                        Sharp flints and pebbles would be thrown on her.
#19-198        Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,
                        Yet, here she is privileged to have her virgin crown wreaths,
#19-199        Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
                        Her maidenly flowers, and the escort to her final place of rest
#19-200        Of bell and burial.
                        With the church bell, and Christian burial services.
#19-201  Laertes:  Must there no more be done?
                        Must there be no more done than this?
#19-202  Doctor of Divinity:  No more be done.
                        No more can be done.
#19-203        We should profane the service of the dead,
                        We would desecrate the service for the dead, itself,
#19-204        To sing sage requiem and such rest to her,
                        If we chanted the solemn requiem, and that kind of repose to her,
#19-205        As to peace-parted souls.
                        As we do for peacefully-departed souls.
#19-206  Laertes:  Lay her in the earth,
                        Place her body in the earth,
#19-207        And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
                        And from her beautiful and pure remains
#19-208        May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
                        May violets abound.  I tell you, stingy priest,
#19-209        A ministering angel shall my sister be
                        A ministering angel is what my sister shall be
#19-210        When thou liest howling.
                        When you lie down below wailing.
#19-211  Hamlet:  What, the fair Ophelia?!
                        What?  The lovely Ophelia?!
#19-212  Gertrude:  Sweets to the sweet, farewell.
                        Sweets to the sweet, farewell.
#19-213        I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
                        I hoped you would have been my Hamlet's wife.
#19-214        I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,
                        I thought I'd be decorating your bridal bed with flowers, sweet maiden,
#19-215        And not have strewed thy grave.
                        And not be scattering them on your grave.
#19-216  Laertes:  Oh, treble woe
                        Oh, may three times as much sorrow
#19-217        Fall ten times double on that cursed head,
                        Fall ten times, doubly, down on that accursed head, of he
#19-218        Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
                        Whose evil deed, your most sensible rationality
#19-219        Deprived thee of; hold off the earth a while,
                        Took from thee.  Don't fill in the grave for a while,
#19-220        Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.        #19-220-SD (Laertes jumps into the excavation)
                        Until I have hugged her, once more, in my arms!
#19-221        Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,
                         Now pile the dirt on both the living and the dead,
#19-222        Till, of this flat, a mountain you have made
                        Until, out of this flatland, you've made a mountain
#19-223        To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head
                        That's higher than ancient Mount Pelion, or the lofty peak
#19-224        Of blue Olympus.
                        Of blue Mount Olympus.
#19-225  Hamlet:  What is he whose grief
                        What is he, whose grief
#19-226        Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow
                        Carries such an emphasis on himself, whose expression of "sorrow"
#19-227        Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand
                        Calls out to the wandering stars, and makes them stop
#19-228        Like wonder-wounded hearers?  This is I,
                        Like what they hear has wounded their ears with astonishment?  It is I,
#19-229        Hamlet the Dane!
                        Hamlet, the Dane!

#19-229-SD  (Hamlet jumps down into the grave excavation to confront Laertes)

#19-230  Laertes:  The Devil take thy soul!
                        The Devil take your soul!
#19-231  Hamlet:  Thou prayest not well; I prithee, take thy fingers
                        You don't pray properly.  I pray you remove your fingers
#19-232        From my throat.
                        From my throat.
#19-233        For, though I am not splenative and rash,
                        For, although I am not quick to anger,
#19-234        Yet have I, in me, something dangerous,
                        Yet, I do have within me something hazardous
#19-235        Which let thy wiseness fear; hold off thy hand.
                        Which, if you're smart, you'll fear.  Take away your hand.
#19-236  Claudius:  Pluck them asunder.
                        Pull them apart!
#19-237  Gertrude:  Hamlet, Hamlet!
                        Hamlet, Hamlet!
#19-238  All:  Gentlemen!
                        Gentlemen!
#19-239  Horatio:  Good my Lord, be quiet!
                        Good my Lord, be still!
#19-240  Hamlet:  Why, I will fight with him upon this theme
                        Why, I will fight with him, from this motive,
#19-241        Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
                        Until the last twitch of my eyelids.
#19-242  Gertrude:  Oh, my son, what theme?
                        Oh, my son, what motive?
#19-243  Hamlet:  I loved Ophelia.  Forty thousand brothers
                        I loved Ophelia.  Any huge number of brothers
#19-244        Could not, with all their quantity of love,
                        Could not, even adding together all their love,
#19-245        Make up my sum.
                        Equal my love for her.
#19-246    (to Laertes):  What wilt thou do for her?
                        What will you do for her now?
#19-247  Claudius:  Oh, he is mad, Laertes.
                        See, he is mad, Laertes.
#19-248  Gertrude:  For love of God, forbear him!
                        For God's sake, shut your mouth about my son!
#19-249  Hamlet:  Zounds, show me what thou't do!
                        By God, show me what you'll do!
#19-250        Woo't weep, woo't fight, woo't fast, woo't tear thy self,
                        Will you weep, fight, starve yourself, tear your own flesh,
#19-251        Woo't drink up eisel, eat a crocodile?
                        Will you gulp down vinegar, eat a crocodile?
#19-252        I'll do it!  Dost thou come here to whine?
                        I will if you do!  Did you come here to whine?
#19-253        To outface me with leaping in her grave?
                        To outdo me, by leaping into her grave?
#19-254        Be buried quick with her, and so will I!
                        Be buried alive with her, well so will I!
#19-255        And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
                        And if you want to prate about mountains, let them throw
#19-256        Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
                        Millions of acres of land on us, until this ground,
#19-257        Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
                        Singeing its top against the sphere of fire,
#19-258        Make Ossa like a wart.  Nay, and thou'lt mouth,
                        Makes Mount Ossa look small as a wart!  Further, if you're going to be so mouthy,
#19-259        I'll rant as well as thou.
                        I'll rant as well as you do!
#19-260  Gertrude:  This is mere madness,
                        This is only a tantrum,
#19-261        And thus, a while, the fit will work on him;
                        And like that, for a while, the outburst will have its effect on him.
#19-262        Anon, as patient as the female dove,
                        Wait patiently - like the female dove
#19-263        When that her golden cuplets are disclosed,
                        Until her golden chicks are hatched -
#19-264        His silence will sit drooping.
                        Then he will sit drooping in silence.
#19-265  Hamlet:  Hear you, sir,
                        You listen to me, sir -
#19-266        What is the reason that you use me thus?
                        Why do you treat me like this?
#19-267        I loved you, ever; but it is no matter;
                        I always liked you.  But it doesn't matter.
#19-268        Let Hercules, himself, do what he may,
                        No matter what even the most mighty person does, or wants to do,
#19-269        The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.
                        Even a lowly cat will still meow, and a dog will have his day in the sun.

#19-269-SD  (Hamlet and Horatio exit)

#19-270  Claudius:  I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.
                        Please, good Horatio, attend him.
#19-271    (to Laertes):  Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;
                        Be more patient, by recalling what we talked about last night.
#19-272        We'll put the matter to the present push.             #19-272-SD (Gertrude exits)
                        We'll press ahead with that subject right away.
#19-273        Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.
                        Good Gertrude, have somebody keep an eye on your son.
#19-274        This grave shall have a living monument;
                        This grave will have an enduring memorial.
#19-275        An hour of quiet thereby shall we see;
                        I'll thereby have a time of peace.
#19-276        Till then, in patience our proceeding be.
                        Until then, I'll proceed with patience.

#19-276-SD    (Claudius, Laertes, and the rest of the funeral procession exit;
               the Clown Sexton approaches to finish the grave)

End of Scene 19

Scene Links

Go to: Scene 1 - Scene 2 - Scene 3 - Scene 4 - Scene 5 - Scene 6 - Scene 7 - Scene 8 - Scene 9 - Scene 10
Scene 11 - Scene 12 - Scene 13 - Scene 14 - Scene 15 - Scene 16 - Scene 17 - Scene 18 - Scene 19 - Scene 20


Notes

Jump up to the start of the Dialogue.

19-Setting
Church of St Olai, Helsingor
Performer's Memorial at St Leonard
  • Place - The Graveyard.

We are at the graveyard by the church in Elsinore Town, the same place where the Ghost led Hamlet in Scene 5.

  • Time of Day - Late morning.

Indications are that Ophelia died at dawn, or shortly after. To appease Laertes, Claudius ordered the coroner to act quickly. The coroner promptly returned a verdict of accidental death, and the funeral was arranged immediately. So it is still the same day Ophelia died, and no later than the middle of the day.

  • Weather - Clear and sunny in the early morning when Ophelia was alive, but the day has now turned dark and gloomy.
  • Calendar Time -

Return: #Setting

19-000-SD
The Second Quarto Clowns entry

(a Clown Sexton and a Clown Deputy enter)

In the original Second Quarto publication, the Clowns are called only that at their entry, with no further specification of who they are. Their roles are deduced from their lines in the dialogue.

The first Clown, who has the speech prefix "Clown" in the original publication, is the church sexton. The second clown, who has the speech prefix "Other," is a coroner's court deputy.

It is important to be aware that clowns are for amusement. Statements they make are not to be interpreted as objective declarations of fact.

Return: #000-SD

19-001

Clown Sexton: Is she to be buried in Christian burial, when she willfully

she - as events proceed, we will learn they are talking about Ophelia.

Return: #001

19-002

seeks her own salvation?

Return: #002

19-003

Clown Deputy: I tell thee she is; therefore, make her grave straight; the

I tell thee... - The Clown Deputy has already told the Clown Sexton at least once, we see.

straight - straightaway; now (here in the churchyard.) The body of a person who committed suicide would not be allowed burial in the churchyard, in consecrated ground.

Return: #003

19-004

crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian burial.

crowner - coroner. The word "coroner" is from Latin 'corona' ("crown.") So the Clown Deputy is both wrong, and right, in the way he says it.

This line identifies the second clown as the Clown Deputy. The character is informing the Clown Sexton of the coroner's decision, so he is therefore the coroner's court deputy assigned that duty. It is a menial task, befitting the least capable man the coroner had available.

sat on her - heard her case. Sat in judgment of her case. Obviously an inelegant way of expressing it.

The coroner's verdict is that Ophelia's death was accidental, thus an act of God, and therefore her mortal remains are accorded the privilege of burial in a Christian manner. Queen Gertrude was certainly the primary witness at the coroner's hearing, and we heard, in Scene 18, what she had to say about it. The verdict of accidental death was clearly indicated.

Return: #004

19-005

Clown Sexton: How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own

drowned herself - we'll see that the Clown Sexton tries to be logical, but he has started out begging the question, that is, with a fallacy called 'petitio principii,' a.k.a. circular reasoning. He has no factual, or rational, reason to say that.

Return: #005

19-006

defense?

(drowned herself in her own) defense - is a crackpot notion. Other than offenses, and acts of defense, there are, of course, accidents.

Return: #006

19-007

Clown Deputy: Why, 'tis found so.

The Clown Deputy knows the coroner's court found so, because he's the one dispatched by the court to inform the Sexton. However, he is not equipped to argue the coroner's verdict. The Clown Deputy is not a man educated in the law (nor is the Clown Sexton.)

Return: #007

19-008

Clown Sexton: It must be 'se offendendo', it cannot be else; for, here lies the

Return: #008

19-009

point: if I drown my self wittingly, it argues an act, & an act hath

Return: #009

19-010

three branches: it is to act, to do, to perform, or all; argal she drowned her

three branches - a pun on "tree branches," the actual proximate cause of Ophelia's death.

argal - ergo.

Return: #010

19-011

self wittingly.

wittingly - can be charitably glossed as "intentionally," but it is a poor word choice by the Clown (and a masterful choice by Shakespeare.) The Clown makes it sound like he means "cleverly," as if he's praising such cleverness.

Return: #011

19-012

Clown Deputy: Nay, but hear you, good man delver . . .

hear you - may remind one of "hear ye, hear ye," the formulaic utterance at court sessions. The Clown Deputy is trying a "hear ye" to get the Clown Sexton's attention.

delver - digger. Shakespeare did use "delve" figuratively, in Cymbeline Act 1 scene 1:

First Gentleman:  I cannot delve him to the root: his father 
Was call'd Sicilius, ...

So, it is also possible to take delver figuratively as "inquirer" or "inquisitor." The Clown Deputy thinks the Clown Sexton is "digging into it" too much. Compare Horatio's remark, later in this Scene, line 173, about considering too curiously.

good man delver - is patronizing. Digging graves is only an occasional part of the Clown Sexton's job. We will see that the Clown Sexton doesn't like being spoken to as if he were nothing better than a menial laborer.

Return: #012

19-013

Clown Sexton: Give me leave; here lies the water; good, here stands the

Give me leave - give me permission, i.e. let me continue.

Return: #013

19-014

man, good; if the man go to this water & drown himself, it is will

Return: #014

19-015

he, nill he, he goes, mark you that, but if the water come to him, &

(will) he, nill he - means the opposite of what the Clown Sexton is trying to say. He's trying to argue intent, but "willy nilly" means haphazardly, regardless of intent. Literally, will he, nill he means "(whether) he does will, or he does not will." Nill is an archaic word from Old English 'nylle' ("not to will;" "to be unwilling.")

Return: #015

19-016

drown him, he drowns not himself; argal, he that is not guilty of

argal - ergo.

Return: #016

19-017

his own death, shortens not his own life.

Return: #017

19-018

Clown Deputy: But is this law?

A very apt question. Not only is it not law, it isn't even sanity.

Return: #018

19-019

Clown Sexton: Aye, marry, is it! Crowner's quest law.

Return: #019

19-020

Clown Deputy: Will you have the truth on it? If this had not been a gentlewoman,

The Clown Deputy has his own personal opinion about this, we see. Not surprising.

Return: #020

19-021

she should have been buried out of Christian burial.

Return: #021

19-022

Clown Sexton: Why, there thou sayest; and the more pity that great folk

Return: #022

19-023

should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves,

Return: #023

19-024

more than their even 'Christen.' Come, my spade; there is no ancient

Return: #024

19-025

gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold

Return: #025

19-026

up Adam's profession.

Return: #026

19-027

Clown Deputy: Was he a gentleman?

Return: #027

19-028

Clown Sexton: He was the first that ever bore arms.

Return: #028

19-029

Clown Deputy: Why, he had none.

Return: #029

19-030

Clown Sexton: What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand

Return: #030

19-031

the Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digged;

The Scripture says Adam digged - no, the Bible doesn't say that. BOOKMARK for me

Return: #031

19-032

could he dig without arms?

Return: #032

19-033

I'll put another question to thee; if thou answerest me not to the

Return: #033

19-034

purpose, confess thyself.

There's a droll old saying, "confess, and be hanged." The Clown Deputy thinks of that, and it leads to his guess below.

The Clown Sexton probably actually means, "confess you're a fool" / "confess you can be made a fool." In the dialogue, I use just the simple paraphrase, "admit I've got you," which is near the point.

Return: #034

19-035

Clown Deputy: Go to.

Go ahead / get to it / let's hear it.

Return: #035

19-036

Clown Sexton: What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the

mason - The patron saint of masons, or at least "a" patron saint of masons, is St Claudius, a point of interest in a play where "Claudius" is the King.

About Saint Claudius: Saint Claudius at catholicsaints.info

Return: #036

19-037

shipwright, or the carpenter?

shipwright - The patron saint of shipwrights is Saint Peter the Apostle.
Info link: Saint Peter

carpenters - The patron saint of carpenters is Saint Joseph of Nazareth.
Info link: Saint Joseph of Nazareth

Return: #037

19-038

Clown Deputy: The gallows maker, for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.

Return: #038

19-039

Clown Sexton: I like thy wit well, in good faith, the gallows does well,

Return: #039

19-040

but how does it well? It does well to those that do ill. Now thou

Return: #040

19-041

dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church, argal,

Return: #041

19-042

the gallows may do well to thee. To it again, come.

Return: #042

19-043

Clown Deputy: Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a

Return: #043

19-044

carpenter?

Return: #044

19-045

Clown Sexton: Aye, tell me that, and unyoke.

Return: #045

19-046

Clown Deputy: Marry, now I can tell.

The Deputy apparently supposes that when the Sexton said "unyoke" he was giving a hint.

Return: #046

19-047

Clown Sexton: To it.

Return: #047

19-048

Clown Deputy: Mass, I cannot tell.

Return: #048

19-049

Clown Sexton: Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for, your dull ass will

Return: #049

19-050

not mend his pace with beating, and when you are asked this question

Return: #050

19-051

next, say "a gravemaker." The houses he makes last till doomsday.

gravemaker - The patron saint of gravediggers is St Anthony the Abbot a.k.a. the Great.
Info link: St Anthony the Abbot

Observe that the Clown Sexton calls a grave a "house." That's pertinent later.

Return: #051

19-052

Go, get thee in, and fetch me a stoup of liquor.

get thee in - The Clown Sexton waves, or points, in the general direction of the church.

stoup - flagon; tankard. A drinking vessel.

However, the word stoup can also mean the holy water basin in a church. So, Shakespeare's choice of word provides a joke, that the Clown Sexton is telling the Clown Deputy to go to the church, dump out the holy water, and bring the basin to him filled with liquor. (We do hope the Sexton, himself, does not really mean that.)

Return: #052

19-052-SD

(points in the direction of the church; the Clown Deputy exits)

The Clown Deputy will not return. The Deputy's duty for the coroner's court is done, and he is not going to bring the Sexton anything.

It is vital that the Clown Sexton point in the general direction of the church when he says the previous line, else the joke be lost.

Return: #052-SD

19-053

(sings): In youth, when I did love, did love,

Return: #053

19-054

Methought it was very sweet

Return: #054

19-055

To contract o' the time for a' my behoove,

Return: #055

19-056

Oh, methought there was nothing a' meet.

Return: #056

19-056-SD

(Hamlet and Horatio enter)

Horatio is dressed as usual, Hamlet is not. Hamlet is coming directly from the pirate ship, and he hasn't been to his quarters in the Castle yet to clean up and change clothes. The pirates stole Hamlet's expensive, fancy clothing, we can be sure. So he'd have something to wear, the pirates gave him some ratty old clothes that none of the pirates particularly wanted. Hamlet is now in "shreds and patches."

This is why, when Hamlet talks to the Clown Sexton, the Sexton will have no idea Hamlet could possibly be the Prince. The Clown will never imagine the Prince could be dressed the way Hamlet is dressed here. Hamlet is also unwashed and unkempt. The pirate ship offered no facilities for him to groom and bathe properly. Hamlet may have had a basin of seawater for washing his face, but that's about it. The "show" the Clown Sexton sees of Hamlet, when they talk, is that he's a sailor who's extremely down on his luck. The Clown Sexton has no notion of how deceptive that "show" is.

Return: #056-SD

19-057

Hamlet: Has this fellow no feeling of his business? He sings in

this fellow - the "show" Hamlet sees of the Clown Sexton is also deceptive. The Sexton has religious garb he normally wears, but he isn't wearing it here because he doesn't want to get it dirty. Rather than a sexton, he looks like a common laborer of the most menial kind, as Hamlet sees him. Horatio doesn't recognize the man as being a sexton, either.

In Scene 3 Polonius spoke to Laertes on the general point of how "the clothes make the man." There's a way that's true, when particular clothing is associated with a particular social status, or occupation. It's a point that will come into play here, when Hamlet and the Sexton talk. They'll both be misled by appearances.

feeling of - sensitivity to. It strikes Hamlet as insensitive for the laborer to sing like that in connection with a death.

Return: #057

19-058

grave making.

Return: #058

19-059

Horatio: Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.

Return: #059

19-060
The Second Quarto word "dintier"

Hamlet: 'Tis even so; the hand of little employment hath the dintier sense.

dintier - more impressionable; more easily impressed.

From 'dint' = "an impression in a surface." (Ultimately from Old English 'dynt.')

Hamlet means the Clown Sexton is "not impressed" by what he's doing, although a more sensitive person would be. The callused hand feels less than the uncallused hand, is another way of saying it.

Return: #060

19-061

Clown Sexton (sings): But age, with his stealing steps,

Return: #061

19-062

hath caught me in his clutch,

caught - is an embedded stage direction. The Clown Sexton tosses a skull in the air, and catches it. Within the lyric it means BOOKMARK, more here

clutch - clutches. More simply, grasp.

Return: #062 - or - Folio Difference

19-063

And hath shipped me intill the land,

Return: #063

19-064

as if I had never been such.

Return: #064

19-064-SD

(tosses out a skull)

The Clown Sexton treats skulls so cavalierly, it is impossible he could keep track of which is whose.

Return: #064-SD

19-065

Hamlet: That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once; how the

Return: #065

19-066

knave jowls it to the ground, as if 'twere Cain's jawbone, that did the

Cain's jawbone - not the jawbone of Cain, himself, but the jawbone Cain used as a weapon.

Return: #066

19-067

first murder; this might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now

Return: #067

19-068

o'er-offices; one that would circumvent God, might it not?

Return: #068

19-069

Horatio: It might, my Lord.

Return: #069

19-070

Hamlet: Or of a courtier, which could say good morrow, sweet lord,

Return: #070

19-071

how dost thou, sweet lord? This might be my Lord Such-a-one, that

Return: #071

19-072

praised my Lord Such-a-one's horse when he meant to beg it, might it not?

Return: #072

19-073

Horatio: Aye, my Lord.

Return: #073

19-074

Hamlet: Why even so, & now my Lady Worm's; chopless, & knocked

Return: #074

19-075
The Second Quarto word "massene"

about the massen with a sexton's spade; here's fine revolution and

massen - an anglicization of French 'maison' ("house.") This is a Shakespeare neologism. It is not an exact synonym for "house," rather, it means "house of the dead," like the French phrase 'maison mortuaire.' It's an English word to cast the grave as a kind of "house."

BOOKMARK for me.

Return: #075 - or - Folio Difference

19-076

we had the trick to see it; did these bones cost no more the breeding,

trick - luck; good fortune. As in taking a trick at cards. Might also be read as "cleverness," but in that sense, Hamlet is facetious.

breeding - encompasses the bearing, rearing, and educating of an offspring. The process of raising a person.

Return: #076

19-077

but to play at loggets with them? Mine ache to think on it.

loggets - a game in which wooden playing pieces are tossed at a stake. The winner is he whose playing piece lies nearest the stake. Loggets is therefore a game of lies. The best lie wins. There is a pun, in advance of Hamlet's "lie" banter with the Clown Sexton, which begins at line 102.

"Logget" is a diminutive of "log," and the word "log" apparently traces back to Old Norse 'lag' which meant "felled tree," thus literally a tree that lies. In a forest, most of the trees are upstanding, but some of them lie. Logget" being a diminutive, loggets is a game of little liers. As 'twere.

There is now some disagreement among etymologists about the origin of the word "log," and the safe way out is to call it obscure, but it seems clear enough what Shakespeare thought. The "lie" concept is why Shakespeare had Hamlet speak of loggets in particular.

Loggets was made illegal in England by a statute in the time of Henry VIII, probably because of gambling and fighting over it.

The Hamlet character, himself, only means to say it's as if the Clown Sexton is playing a game with the buried, or now unburied bones, the way he tosses them around.

Mine ache to think on it - a mark of how sympathetic, and empathetic, Hamlet is. He feels for others.

Return: #077

19-078

Clown Sexton (sings): A pickaxe and a spade, a spade,

Return: #078

19-079

for and a shrouding sheet,

Return: #079

19-080

Oh, a pit of clay for to be made

Return: #080

19-081

for such a guest is meet.

Return: #081

19-081-SD

(tosses out another skull)

As before, the Clown Sexton is obviously careless, and uncaring, about which skull is whose.

Return: #081-SD

19-082

Hamlet: There's another; why, may not that be the skull of a lawyer?

Return: #082

19-083

Where be his quiddities now, his quillites, his cases, his tenures, and his

Return: #083

19-084

tricks? Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about

tricks - legal stratagems. Sophisms. Legal technicalities, in the pejorative sense.

rude - ill-mannered, however, the point of this word usage may be the pun with "rood," the Christian cross. This rude knave is a "rood" knave, which makes him a "cross" knave, which he must be since he is employed by the church.

Return: #084 - or - Folio Difference

19-085

the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action

sconce - skull. For a living man the sconce would be the head, but a skull is what the Clown Sexton has dug up.

action - legal action, a lawsuit. Paradoxically, because of the peculiarities of legal jargon, in this instance the action is not the act.

Return: #085

19-086

of battery? Hmm, this fellow might be, in his time, a great buyer of

battery - the offense of beating another unlawfully.

might be - might have been.

Return: #086

19-087

land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his

Return: #087

19-088

recoveries; is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries,

Return: #088

19-089

to have his fine pate full of fine dirt, will vouchers

Return: #089

19-090

vouch him no more of his purchases & doubles than the length

Return: #090

19-091

and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his

Return: #091

19-092

lands will scarcely lie in this box, & must the inheritor himself have

Return: #092

19-093

no more? Ha.

Return: #093

19-094

Horatio: Not a jot more, my Lord.

Return: #094

19-095

Hamlet: Is not parchment made of sheepskins?

Return: #095

19-096

Horatio: Aye, my Lord, and of calfskins too.

Return: #096

19-097

Hamlet: They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in

Return: #097

19-098

that; I will speak to this fellow. Whose grave's this, sirrah?

sirrah - was a term used to address an inferior and it indicated contempt. Based on what he's seen, Hamlet thinks the sexton is a dullard of no merit.

Keep in mind Hamlet's shabby dress at this time, and his lack of grooming, after his experience with the pirates. The Clown Sexton hears himself called sirrah by a fellow who looks like the lowest sirrah in Denmark.

The Clown Sexton is misled by the "show" of Hamlet, as the sexton sees him. The thought of that fellow, the way he looks, being the Prince will never cross the sexton's mind. The sexton will probably conclude that the pitiful tramp he sees is using the term sirrah because he has heard it so often applied to himself.

We have already seen, in the earlier passage with the Clown Deputy,, how the Clown Sexton is. He'd rather have a good argument than dig, any day, and particularly when he can cast his partner in conversation as a fool. The sexton thinks he sees a good opportunity for that with Hamlet.

Here we go, again, with the Clown Sexton, who has no clue he's bandying words with the Prince of Denmark.

Return: #098

19-099

Clown Sexton: Mine, sir.

That's clever in its way, but not true. The churchyard is church property, so technically, it's the church's grave, if we were speaking of who owns it.

It's the Clown Sexton's to dig. That's true enough, while he's digging.

Return: #099

19-100

(sings): Oh, a pit of clay for to be made

The Clown Sexton is not singing to Hamlet here, he is singing as he continues to dig. He is paying no attention to Hamlet yet.

Return: #100

19-101

for such a guest is meet.

guest - In Christian theology, the occupants of graves are there temporarily, until Judgment Day. So, guest - a temporary occupant.

meet - proper; suitable. Goes back to Old English 'gemǣte' ("suitable.")

Return: #101

19-102

Hamlet: I think it be thine indeed, for thou liest in it.

Hamlet is intending to get the Clown Sexton's attention, and his "lie" line does the trick.

Return: #102

19-103

Clown Sexton: You lie out of it, sir, and therefore 'tis not yours; for my part I

Return: #103

19-104

do not lie in it, yet it is mine.

mine - to dig. The Clown Sexton doesn't like digging, at least not nearly as much as he likes quibbling and drinking, so having to dig is much on his mind.

Return: #104

19-105

Hamlet: Thou dost lie in it, to be in it & say it is thine; 'tis for the dead,

Return: #105

19-106

not for the quick, therefore, thou liest.

Return: #106

19-107

Clown Sexton: 'Tis a quick lie, sir, 'twill away again from me to you.

Return: #107

19-108

Hamlet: What man dost thou dig it for?

Return: #108

19-109

Clown Sexton: For no man, sir.

Return: #109

19-110

Hamlet: What woman, then?

Return: #110

19-111

Clown Sexton: For none, neither.

Return: #111

19-112

Hamlet: Who is to be buried in it?

Return: #112

19-113

Clown Sexton: One that was a woman, sir, but rest her soul, she's dead.

Return: #113

19-114

Hamlet (aside to Horatio): How absolute the knave is. We must speak by the card, or

absolute - Can be read a number of ways: free, as in free-tongued; loose, as in unrestrained; irrelevant; dissolute; scattered; etc.

Hamlet's complaint is that the Clown Sexton is being rude by being uncommunicative. By the way, it's the same complaint R & G voiced about Hamlet in Scene 8. (Scene 8#014 and 015) Hamlet doesn't realize how he looks to the Clown Sexton, as he stands there in his pirate castoffs. From the way Hamlet looks, the Clown Sexton sees no need to take him seriously.

Shakespeare went back to the Latin root for his meaning with absolute in this case. Latin 'solvere' ("to loosen, dissolve; release, detach; scatter;" etc.)

It is also possible to read absolute as "uncharitable" in the sense of being uncharitable when interpreting a statement. There is obvious meaning in speaking of a man of the church as uncharitable.

How absolute the knave is - This phrase can also be understood as Hamlet calling the Clown Sexton an "absolute knave."

card - perhaps a reference to the "compass card," used as part of a navigational compass. Hamlet is talking about navigating his way through what the Clown Sexton says. Otherwise, Hamlet could be using card to mean "map" or "chart" but that's the same idea. Hamlet would have seen first-hand a navigational compass while he was aboard ship.

However, it appears that card was also theater jargon for an actor's speech, written down. If that's what Hamlet means, he is talking about following the script, and not trying to ad lib.

It would not be surprising if Shakespeare fully intended his audience to struggle through all the possibilities for this line, trying to figure out what he meant, exactly, while he was deliberately being ambiguous. The word "equivocation" appears in the next line, and Shakespeare may have done some of that himself, deliberately, in this line. He was a bit of a scamp.

(It is a curiosity that the phrase by the card is the exact English equivalent of French "a la carte." However, restaurant menus are a relatively recent development, and were not in use in Shakespeare's time. The phrasing cannot be a figurative use of the idea of choosing specific items from a menu of possibilities.)

Return: #114

19-115

equivocation will undo us. By the Lord, Horatio, these three years I

equivocation - quibbling. Ambiguity; uncertainty of meaning.

these three years - the amount of time Hamlet has known Horatio, therefore the length of time since Hamlet went away to the university, since he met Horatio there.

Return: #115

19-116

have took note of it: the age is grown so picked, that the toe of the

picked - socially mixed up, socially jumbled. The figure of speech is based on a pick being used for digging. Picture the social strata being like strata in the soil. When a pick is used for digging, the different soil strata are mixed up and jumbled together. Hamlet means it's as if some power has taken a pick to the social strata, mixing up the social classes and jumbling them together. The figure of speech follows from watching the Clown Sexton dig, of course. The Clown Sexton sang "pickaxe" in line 078 above.

Return: #116

19-117

peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe.

galls - chafes, to produce a sore spot.

kibe - chillblain, on the heel in this case.

Hamlet is talking about the heel of the courtier being stepped on by the peasant, figuratively speaking, meaning there is inadequate respect for the courtier from the peasant, from the point of view of Hamlet the Courtier. Earlier in the Scene, we saw the Clown Sexton and the Clown Deputy agreed in resenting the special treatment of "great ones."

This Scene presents some social class resentment, from both sides. Shakespeare was perceptive enough to notice signs of social trouble on the way, it appears. The English Civil War began in 1642.

Return: #117

19-118

(resumes): How long hast thou been gravemaker?

The question arose implicitly earlier, between Hamlet and Horatio, at line 059. Hamlet is curious how long a man would have to dig graves to become so fully accustomed to it that he could sing at his work.

Return: #118

19-119

Clown Sexton: Of the days in the year, I came to it that day that our last king,

the days in the year - It is important to understand that the Clown Sexton is referring to a calendar date.

that day - that date.

Return: #119 - or - Folio Difference

19-120

Hamlet, overcame Fortinbrasse.

The Clown Sexton is not saying King Hamlet defeated the Elder Fortinbrasse on the identical day he became sexton (and gravedigger,) he is saying those events were on the same calendar date.

Return: #120

19-121

Hamlet: How long is that since?

Hamlet is asking how many years ago the Clown Sexton became the sexton.

However, in what follows, we see the Clown Sexton takes it, or at least plays it, that Hamlet is asking how long it's been since a calendar date, as if Hamlet asked, "How long has it been since April 23?"

Return: #121

19-122

Clown Sexton: Cannot you tell that? Every fool can tell that; it was that

Return: #122

19-123

very day that young Hamlet was born: he that is mad and sent into

day - date. The Clown Sexton is continuing to speak of dates. He is not saying all three events happened in the same year.

The Clown Sexton is giving Hamlet a hint about what date he means. However, Hamlet was asking about the passage of years, not about calendar dates.

Return: #123

19-124

England.

We see it's common knowledge Claudius sent Hamlet to England.

Return: #124

19-125

Hamlet: Aye, marry, why was he sent into England?

Hamlet is curious whether any inkling of the true reason is circulating. The correct answer would be, "to be executed."

Return: #125

19-126

Clown Sexton: Why? Because he was mad. He shall recover his wits there, or if

Return: #126

19-127

he do not, 'tis no great matter there.

Return: #127

19-128

Hamlet: Why?

Return: #128

19-129

Clown Sexton: 'Twill not be seen in him there; there, the men are as mad

seen - observed; noticed.

Return: #129

19-130

as he.

Return: #130

19-131

Hamlet: How came he mad?

Return: #131

19-132

Clown Sexton: Very strangely, they say.

Return: #132

19-133

Hamlet: How strangely?

Return: #133

19-134

Clown Sexton: Faith, even with losing his wits.

Return: #134

19-135

Hamlet: Upon what ground?

Hamlet is asking, "for what reason (did Hamlet go mad)?"

ground - basis; cause; reason. We would now say "grounds."

The word ground is from Old English 'grund' ("bottom, foundation, ground, surface of the earth, bottom of the sea.") So, asking "upon what ground" is like asking what is at the bottom of it.

Return: #135

19-136

Clown Sexton: Why, here in Denmark. I have been 'Sexten' here, man

the Second Quarto word "Sexten"
the word "sixteen" in the First Folio

here in Denmark - The Clown Sexton misunderstands Hamlet, or pretends to. He replies as if "ground" meant "land area."

Sexten - sexton, is the first meaning. It identifies the Clown as the church sexton, by his own statement. There is more, however. The Clown Sexton is giving Hamlet a word puzzle, to try to show him up as a fool. It's the same behavior the Clown Sexton exhibited with the Clown Deputy at the beginning of the Scene. In other words, it's a word puzzle from Shakespeare. I preserve the Second Quarto spelling, duly marked, because it's a special word.

Observe that in the First Folio the word is spelled "sixeteene." The Folio is revealing the second meaning, which is "sixteen." The word spelled Sexten in the Second Quarto has to be read twice to get the full meaning.

Combining the relevant part of this line with the next line gives:
I have been 'Sexten' here, man and boy thirty years.

The Clown Sexton's total meaning is, "I have been sixteen (years) here (as the sexton) (and alive as a) man and boy thirty years." He has intentionally phrased it to give the impression he has been sexton for thirty years, but that is wrong. Apparently whoever did the work on the First Folio Hamlet was aware of the importance of "sixteen" in this line.

Return: #136 - or - Folio Difference

19-137

and boy thirty years.

The Clown Sexton means that he, himself, has been alive as a man and boy for thirty years. (Ben Jonson was 30 in 1602.)

Return: #137

19-138

Hamlet: How long will a man lie in the earth ere he rot?

Return: #138

19-139

Clown Sexton: Faith, if he be not rotten before he die, (as we have many

The Sexton missed Hamlet's "lie" remark at his expense, and took the question as a serious one.

Return: #139

19-140

pocky corpses nowadays, that will scarce hold the laying in,) he will last you some eight

Return: #140

19-141

year, or nine year. A tanner will last you nine year.

Return: #141

19-142

Hamlet: Why he more then another?

Return: #142

19-143

Clown Sexton: Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that he will keep

Return: #143

19-144

out water a great while; & your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson

Return: #144

19-145

dead body; here's a skull now hath 'lyen' you in the earth 23 years.

Return: #145

19-146

Hamlet: Whose was it?

Return: #146

19-147

Clown Sexton: A whoreson mad fellow's it was; whose do you think it was?

Return: #147

19-148

Hamlet: Nay, I know not.

Return: #148

19-149

Clown Sexton: A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! He poured a flagon of

Return: #149

19-150

Rhenish on my head once; this same skull, sir - this same skull, sir - was Sir Yorick's skull, the

Return: #150

19-151

King's Jester.

Return: #151

19-152

Hamlet: This?

Return: #152

19-153

Clown Sexton: Even that.

Return: #153

19-154

Hamlet: Let me see.

Return: #154

19-155

(aside to Horatio): Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite

Return: #155

19-156

jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath bore me on his back a thousand

Return: #156

19-157

times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge

Return: #157

19-158

rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed, I know not how

Return: #158

19-159

often; where be your gibes now? Your gambols, your songs, your flashes

Return: #159

19-160

of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one,

Return: #160

19-161

now, to mock your own grinning, quite chopfallen? Now get you

Return: #161

19-161-SD

(drops the skull into the grave excavation)

Return: #161-SD

19-162

to my lady's chamber, & tell her: let her paint an inch thick, to this favor

Return: #162

19-163

she must come; make her laugh at that.

Return: #163

19-164

Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing.

Return: #164

19-165

Horatio: What's that, my Lord?

Return: #165

19-166

Hamlet: Dost thou think, Alexander, looked he this fashion in the earth?

Return: #166

19-167

Horatio: Even so.

Return: #167

19-168

Hamlet: And smelt so? Pah.

Return: #168

19-169

Horatio: Even so, my Lord.

Return: #169

19-170

Hamlet: To what base uses we may return Horatio? Why may not

Return: #170

19-171

imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping

Return: #171

19-172

a bunghole?

Return: #172

19-173

Horatio: 'Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.

Return: #173

19-174

Hamlet: No, faith, not a jot. But, to follow him thither with modesty

Return: #174

19-175

enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus: Alexander died, Alexander was

Return: #175

19-176

buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we

Return: #176

19-177

make loam, & why, of that loam whereto he was converted, might

Return: #177

19-178

they not stop a beer-barrel?

Return: #178

19-179

(recites): Imperial Caesar dead, and turned to clay,

Return: #179

19-180

Might stop a hole, to keep the wind away.

Return: #180

19-181

Oh, that that earth which kept the world in awe,

Return: #181

19-182

Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw.

Return: #182 - or - Folio Difference

19-182-SD

(Ophelia's funeral procession enters, with her corpse; Claudius, Gertrude, and Laertes enter, accompanied by the royal entourage, and mourners; the Clown Sexton exits to ring the church bell)

Ophelia is borne bare-faced on the bier. That is, her body is shrouded except for the face. Ophelia, herself, told us of that burial practice in one of her songs in Scene 16 (Scene 16#170.)

Return: #182-SD

19-183

But soft, but soft aside; here comes the King,

Return: #183

19-184

The Queen, the courtiers; who is this they follow?

Return: #184

19-185

And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken,

maimed - less than whole. Hamlet can see at a distance that the funeral procession does not include everything it might. BOOKMARK go into detail on this

betoken - signify; indicate. Goes back to Old English 'tacen' ("sign.") This is a subtle instance of the Omen Motif in the play. Hamlet uses an "omen" word, with no idea how ominous it is, for his future happiness.

Return: #185

19-186

The 'corse' they follow, did with desperate hand

Return: #186

19-187

Fordo its own life; 'twas of some estate;

Return: #187

19-188

Couch we a while, and mark.

Couch - lie down. From Old French 'couche' ("a bed,") from 'coucher' ("to lay down.")

mark - watch; pay attention.

Return: #188

19-189

Laertes: What ceremony else?

Return: #189

19-190

Hamlet: That is Laertes, a very noble youth, mark.

Return: #190

19-191

Laertes: What ceremony else?

As an instance of the themes of the play, Laertes thinks there should be more of a Show.

We heard Laertes's objections earlier, in Scene 16, (Scene 16 #213 and ff) over what he had heard about the lack of a proper show for his father's funeral.

Return: #191

19-192

Doctor of Divinity: Her obsequies have been as far enlarged

Return: #192

19-193

As we have warranty; her death was doubtful,

doubtful - in whose opinion? And why would they think so?

Return: #193

19-194

And but that great command o'er-sways the order,

great command - the King's command, following the coroner's court decision of accidental death.

o'er-sways - holds sway over. Overrules.

the order - the funeral service that the church would have followed, if left to its own devices. The word order referring to religious procedure goes back to Medieval times.

There is church-state conflict; the state has overruled the church, to dictate Christian burial for Ophelia.

There's nothing factual about why the cleric thinks the service should be different. The ideas of the cleric, and the Clown Sexton before him, are based on suspicion and presumption.

Return: #194

19-195

She should in ground unsanctified been lodged

Return: #195

19-196

Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers,

last trumpet - the trumpet that will sound on Judgment Day.

For - in place of; instead of.

Return: #196

19-197

{Sharp} flints and pebbles should be thrown on her.

{Sharp} - is an editorial change, by me.

The Second Quarto publication of Hamlet has no word before flints, and the First Folio has "Shardes," which would be "shards" in modern spelling. However, in a search of the Shakespeare canon, I find that Shakespeare never used the word "shards" in that way in any other of his writing.

The three other uses of "shard" or a form of it are:

Antony and Cleopatra [III, 2]: "They are his shards, and he their beetle."
Cymbeline [III, 3]: "The sharded beetle..."
Macbeth [III, 2]: "The shard-borne beetle..."

In all other appearances of "shard" in the Shakespeare canon it is used to mean the elytron (wing case) of a beetle.

I do not find the word "shards" credible in this speech in Hamlet, where it is apparently supposed to mean "potshards." One could contend that Shakespeare used "shards" in such a way just this once, but that is to argue that the word is right just because it's there, and I can't accept that in the face of the other usages.

I think the Folio editor misread "sharp," perhaps because he was dealing with faded 20-year old manuscript. If the word were "sharp" it would be entirely credible, with no hesitation. "Sharp" goes perfectly with flints, it provides an instance for the Edge Motif, and it leaves flints and pebbles as the kind of conjunction of nouns which is a characteristic of Shakespeare's style. So, I have changed the word, against the direct evidence of the First Folio "Shardes." My only defense, for this offense, is that it is my best judgment. I do not think the Folio is right.

Return: #197 - or - Folio Difference

19-198

Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,

crants - wreaths.

The word crants sounds like the last syllable in the name "Rosencrantz," a name which means "rose crown." By that, based on the sound, one can hear crants as "crown," and the line becomes, "she is allowed her virgin crown."

The idea of a "virgin crown" was a powerful one in the days of Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.

Return: #198

19-199

Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home

Return: #199

19-200

Of bell and burial.

Return: #200

19-201

Laertes: Must there no more be done?

Return: #201

19-202

Doctor of Divinity: No more be done.

Return: #202

19-203

We should profane the service of the dead,

Return: #203

19-204

To sing sage requiem and such rest to her,

Return: #204

19-205

As to peace-parted souls.

Return: #205

19-206

Laertes: Lay her in the earth,

Return: #206

19-207

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

Return: #207

19-208
violet

May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,

Shakespeare is initiating a myth here, in the classical tradition. In mythology, various persons were turned into flowers, notably Narcissus. Here, Shakespeare turns Ophelia into violets.

Return: #208

19-209

A ministering angel shall my sister be

Return: #209

19-210

When thou liest howling.

Return: #210

19-211

Hamlet: What, the fair Ophelia?!

Return: #211

19-212

Gertrude: Sweets to the sweet, farewell.

Return: #212

19-213

I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;

Return: #213

19-214

I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,

Return: #214

19-215

And not have strewed thy grave.

Return: #215

19-216

Laertes: Oh, treble woe

Return: #216

19-217

Fall ten times double on that cursed head,

Return: #217

19-218

Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense

Return: #218

19-219

Deprived thee of; hold off the earth a while,

Return: #219

19-220

Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.

Return: #220

19-220-SD

(Laertes jumps into the excavation)

Return: #220-SD

19-221

Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,

Return: #221

19-222

Till, of this flat, a mountain you have made

Return: #222

19-223

To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head

Return: #223

19-224

Of blue Olympus.

Blue because of the altitude.

Return: #224

19-225

Hamlet: What is he whose grief

Return: #225

19-226

Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow

Return: #226

19-227

Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand

Return: #227

19-228

Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,

Return: #228

19-229

Hamlet the Dane!

Return: #229

19-229-SD

(Hamlet jumps down into the grave excavation to confront Laertes)

Return: #229-SD

19-230

Laertes: The Devil take thy soul!

Return: #230

19-231

Hamlet: Thou prayest not well; I prithee, take thy fingers

Return: #231

19-232

From my throat.

Return: #232

19-233

For, though I am not splenative and rash,

Return: #233

19-234

Yet have I, in me, something dangerous,

Return: #234

19-235

Which let thy wiseness fear; hold off thy hand.

Return: #235

19-236

Claudius: Pluck them asunder.

Return: #236

19-237

Gertrude: Hamlet, Hamlet!

Return: #237

19-238

All: Gentlemen!

Return: #238

19-239

Horatio: Good my Lord, be quiet!

Return: #239

19-240

Hamlet: Why, I will fight with him upon this theme

Return: #240

19-241

Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

Return: #241

19-242

Gertrude: Oh, my son, what theme?

Return: #242

19-243

Hamlet: I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers

Return: #243

19-244

Could not, with all their quantity of love,

Return: #244

19-245

Make up my sum.

Return: #245

19-246

(to Laertes): What wilt thou do for her?

Return: #246

19-247

Claudius: Oh, he is mad, Laertes.

Return: #247

19-248

Gertrude: For love of God, forbear him!

Return: #248

19-249

Hamlet: Zounds, show me what thou't do!

Return: #249

19-250

Woo't weep, woo't fight, woo't fast, woo't tear thy self,

Return: #250

19-251
crocodile, 1591

Woo't drink up eisel, eat a crocodile?

eisel - vinegar.

crocodile - a notoriously savage creature, as known in Shakespeare's England. The idea of "crocodile tears" was also known, and there is an accusation of insincerity in Hamlet's lines to Laertes.

Hamlet is talking about the kind of stunts an immature young man might perform, to try to be impressive, and likewise, the kind of pledges he might make, to try to impress. "I'd climb the highest mountain for you, I'd swim the deepest river for you, I'd drink a gallon of vinegar for you, I'd eat a crocodile for you!" That sort of thing. One often does not expect the stunt to really be performed, it's the thought that counts.

Ophelia is beyond being impressed by any such pronouncement.

Return: #251

19-252

I'll do it! Dost thou come here to whine?

Return: #252

19-253

To outface me with leaping in her grave?

Return: #253

19-254

Be buried quick with her, and so will I!

Return: #254

19-255

And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw

Return: #255

19-256

Millions of acres on us, till our ground,

Return: #256

19-257

Singeing his pate against the burning zone,

Return: #257

19-258

Make Ossa like a wart. Nay, and thou'lt mouth,

Return: #258

19-259

I'll rant as well as thou.

Return: #259

19-260

Gertrude: This is mere madness,

Return: #260

19-261

And thus, a while, the fit will work on him;

Return: #261

19-262

Anon, as patient as the female dove,

Return: #262

19-263

When that her golden cuplets are disclosed,

Return: #263

19-264

His silence will sit drooping.

Return: #264

19-265

Hamlet: Hear you, sir,

Return: #265

19-266

What is the reason that you use me thus?

Since Hamlet knows his killing of Polonius was accidental, he supposes everyone knows that. However, they do not.

Return: #266

19-267

I loved you, ever; but it is no matter;

Return: #267

19-268

Let Hercules, himself, do what he may,

Return: #268

19-269

The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.

That is, things will proceed according to their nature.

Return: #269

19-269-SD

(Hamlet and Horatio exit)

Return: #269-SD

19-270

Claudius: I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.

Claudius is talking to Horatio's back, as he pretends to be, or strives to be, in control.

Return: #270

19-271

(to Laertes): Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;

Return: #271

19-272

We'll put the matter to the present push.

Return: #272

19-272-SD

(Gertrude exits)

Return: #272-SD

19-273

Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.

Again, Claudius is trying to retain control, but he is talking to Gertrude's back.

Return: #273

19-274

This grave shall have a living monument;

Return: #274

19-275

An hour of quiet thereby shall we see;

Return: #275

19-276

Till then, in patience our proceeding be.

Return: #276

19-276-SD

(Claudius, Laertes, and the rest of the funeral procession exit; the Clown Sexton approaches to finish the grave)

Return: #276-SD


Scene Links

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Scene 11 - Scene 12 - Scene 13 - Scene 14 - Scene 15 - Scene 16 - Scene 17 - Scene 18 - Scene 19 - Scene 20


© 2014 Jeffrey Paul Jordan

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