No, faith, not a jot, but to follow him thither with
modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: Alexander died,
Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust,
the dust is the earth, of earth we make loam,and why of that loam
whereto he was converted might they not stop a beer barrel?
This passage is the moment Hamlet understands death as something to be a tangible and universal experience. The scene is seemingly innocent but carries immense importance in Hamlet’s acceptance of death. Hamlet and Horatio enter a graveyard and find a grave digger singing merely about his job while throwing skulls about and digging a grave to eventually be where Ophelia is buried. The scene begins with a strong emphasis on the insignificance of death. Hamlet is offended by the grave digger’s nonchalant attitude about his job and especially towards the skulls being throw. He feels that this grave-digger is treating the lives of possible noblemen with such insensitivity. He talks with the grave digger who then shows him a Yorick’s skull.
When Hamlet sees Yorick’s skull, he can clearly see death’s vengeance, he can visualize it. Yorick was lively and was mostly positive from what Hamlet says while Hamlet is melancholy and wishes to die, yet Yorick himself is the one that is dead. This really helps Hamlet understand the deeper meaning of death as he learns that all mankind will be consumed by death at some point of their life whether they desire it or not. “Alas poor Yorick! I knew him. Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and no, how abhorred in my imagination it is!” says Hamlet.
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