Horatio joins one of the gravediggers he is shocked

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Horatio joins one of the gravediggers, he is shocked by the casualness the grave digger regards his work. The grave digger spars with Hamlet telling him that the grave is his because he is the one digging it, then he states that it belongs to no one since the grave’s occupant will be dead, eventually he concedes that it belongs to one “that was a woman sir; but, rest her soul, she’s dead.” (5.1.140) Ownership after death is a powerful premise in Hamlet as death seems to be a way of transferring power or leadership. Here the Hamlets end is foreshadowed with the contest of who truly owns the grave.A philosophical and somber mood is set in the graveyard scene as Hamlet tries to identifythe owner of the skulls that the gravedigger has just thrown out of the grave to make way. Did they belong to a courtier or a lawyer (5.1.100-110)? Hamlet also acknowledges that all their material possessions are useless to then in their present state. In the scene, Hamlet’s philosophical mood and obsession with death are clearly portrayed. Paradoxically, Shakespeare also manages to allow a humorous atmosphere to emerge especially in the banter between Hamlet and the gravedigger. The gravedigger never realizes that he talking with Hamlet, therefore, communicates freely telling him that he is overthinking things, “to consider too curiously to consider” when he wonders if Alexander the great and Caesar are also in a similar state
The graveyard scene is also instrumental in revealing the changes that will occur throughout the play to its conclusion. The priest refuses to offer his services because she seems like she committed suicide. “Her death was doubtful” so she should have, “in ground unsanctified been lodged”. Laertes curses the priest assuring him that she will be an angel as he howls in hell. The primary change in the plot indicated by this is that Ophelia’s suicide while might be her redemption while the living (Hamlet) are doomed.Finally, Shakespeare uses the graveyard scene to portray powerful universal implications that reverberate throughout Hamlet and even other plays. The clearest implication hammered to the audience in this act is death being all encompassing and lacking dignity. Dead people own nothing; the jester’s grave is dug up to make way for Ophelia, and Alexander and Caesar lie dead. In fact, the grave digger admits that the grave belong to one that was once a woman, but is now dead, emphasizing that her death ensures that she is no longer a person.

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