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Hamlet: Preoccupation with Death

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on 25 January 2015

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Transcript of Hamlet: Preoccupation with Death

Queen: "Thou knowest 'tis common. All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity." (1.2.73-74)

Death initiates Hamlet's mission, ends his mission, and preoccupies his life everywhere in between.
Pg 120 lines 42-63
GRAVEDIGGERS
"But age with his stealing steps
Hath clawed me in his clutch,
And hath shipped me into the land
As if I had never been such."
"Don't hurt yourself thinking about it. The answer is a gravedigger, they make houses that last until Judgment Day "
"Ughh i don't know!
"The one who builds the gallows to hang people on, since his structure out lives a thousand inhabitants"
"Not exactly, but that is an interesting thought! C'mon keep guessing"

The gravediggers are contemplating the death of Ophelia;
suicide or not
and if it should be a
Christian burial or not
Suicide: she should be buried outside the cemetery
"...If the man go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he nill he, he goes..."

V.i.16-18
Not a suicide: she should be buried inside cemetery, Christian burial
"...But if the water come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself..."
V.i.18-19
Therefore, there is no way it was not a suicide
"...If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o' Christian burial."
V.i.24-26
"What do you call a person who builds stronger things than a stonemason, a shipbuilder, or a carpenter does?"
Gravediggers continue talking about death... WITH A JOKE/RIDDLE


Nobody expects gravediggers to be making jokes/being happy about death. They should be miserable. Reason why Hamlet gets offended and upset.
"Has this fellow no feeling of his business? He sings at grave- making?"
(Hamlet, V.i.68-69)

They also provide a bit of
COMIC RELIEF
to relieve the tension of the play
Gravediggers promote the theme of the
obsession with death
in 3 WAYS
Gravediggers do not take death seriously, THEY CONSTANTLY MAKE JOKES ABOUT DEATH
Death of OPHELIA
THE

SONG
HAMLET
In conclusion:
- Gravediggers constantly speak about death during conversations, but don't take it seriously
THE OBSESSION WITH
DEATH
Not only the theme of death, but the
OBSESSION WITH DEATH
is very apparent in the play Hamlet
King Claudius
King Hamlet
Polonius
Fortinbras
Hamlet
Young Fortinbras
Laertes
This mind map demonstrates how the
OBSESSION
with death is the driving force (motivation) for revenge in the play
MIND MAP
The obsession with death that governs the decisions of several characters in the play is directly related to beliefs held during the Elizabethan era.
HEAVEN
PURGATORY
HELL
King: How is it that clouds still hang on you?
King: "How is it that clouds still hang on you?" (1.2.67)
"For if the sun can breed maggots in a dying dog, being a good kissing carrion - Have you a daughter?" -Hamlet(2.2.195-196)
Hamlet's obsession leads him to contemplate suicide
"With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bare?"-Hamlet (3.1.83)
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service - two dishes, but to one table. That's the end." -Hamlet (4.3.23-28)
Of all the contemplation of mortality and suicide that Hamlet has done throughout the play, he finally looks death in the eye, literally, and is relatively comfortable.
"Oh that this too sullies flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew"- Hamlet (1.2.131-132)
Act 4, Scene 5
Ophelia's Lyrical Madness
“Well, God’ield you! They say the owl was a
baker’s daughter
. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table.”
Ophelia
"Conceit upon her
father.
"
King
WITTY COMMENTS
&
DeSeNsItIzAtIoN with
DEATH
Ophelia's Speeches
&
Her Obsession with
Death
Provide "situational irony"
Act 4, Scene 5
The Garland Speech
"There’s
rosemary
, that’s for
remembrance
; pray you, love, remember.
And there is
pansies
, that’s for
thoughts
. . . . There’s
fennel
for you, and
columbines
. There’s
rue
for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it
herb of grace o’Sundays
. You may wear your
rue
with a difference.
There’s a
daisy
. I would give you some violets, but they wither’d all when my
father died
."

Ophelia
Lines 177-179
Old age has snuck up on him and grabbed him quickly. It has brought him into the ground as if he'd never even been alive
R.I.P Polonius
... not
- Death initiates Hamlet's quest for revenge. His obsession leads to his downfall, and controls all of his actions.

- Ophelia's obsession with death is shown through her dialogue, and is linked to her father's death which caused by her love, Hamlet. This ultimately leads to her madness.
THE END!
Full transcript