The ghost of Hamlet's father is a character from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. In the stage directions he is referred to as "Ghost", his name is Hamlet, he is referred to as King Hamlet to distinguish him from the Prince. He is loosely based on a legendary Jutish chieftain, named Horwendill, who appears in Chronicon Lethrense and in Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum. According to oral tradition, the Ghost was played by Shakespeare himself; the Ghost appears three times in the play: in Scene i. The Ghost arrives at 1.00 a.m. in at least two of the scenes, in the other scene all, known is that it is night. The Ghost first appears to a duo of soldiers -- Marcellus -- and Hamlet's friend, Horatio; the men draw their swords and stand in fear, requesting that Horatio, as a scholar, address the Ghost. Horatio asks the Ghost to speak, reveal its secret, it is about to do so when the cock crows, signalling morning, the Ghost instead disappears. In this scene, the Ghost is recognised by all present as the King, dressed in his full armour.
Marcellus notes. Talk of spectral visitations has unsettled the night watch. Francisco, who Bernardo relieves on guard duty says, "For this relief much thanks. Horatio persuades Prince Hamlet into staying up with the guards to see if the Ghost returns. At midnight, it appears, beckons Hamlet to follow. Once alone, the Ghost describes his wanderings on the earth, his harrowing life in purgatory, since he died without receiving last rites, he tells the young Hamlet that he was poisoned and murdered by his brother, the new King of Denmark, asks the prince to avenge his death. He expresses disgust at his wife, for marrying Claudius, but warns Hamlet not to confront her, but to leave that to Heaven. Prince Hamlet returns to his friends and has them swear on his sword to keep what they have seen a secret; when they resist, the Ghost utters the words "Swear" and "Swear on the sword", from below the stage, until his friends agree. Prince Hamlet, fearing that the apparition may be a demon pretending to be King Hamlet, decides to put the Ghost to the test by staging a play that re-enacts the circumstances that the spirit claims led to his death.
Claudius' reaction is one of guilt and horror, Prince Hamlet is convinced that the Ghost is, in fact, his father. In the third appearance, Hamlet is confronted by the Ghost in his mother's closet, is rebuked for not carrying out his revenge and for disobeying his instruction by talking to Gertrude. Hamlet fearfully apologises. Gertrude, cannot see the Ghost, thinks Hamlet is mad, asking why he stares and talks to nothing. In this scene, the Ghost is described as being in his nightgown, he is never mentioned again. King Hamlet is described by the few characters who mention him—basically Hamlet and the guards—as a warrior, as he led Denmark's forces to victory against Norway, defeated its King Fortinbras in hand-to-hand combat. Hamlet respects him, saying Claudius pales in comparison to him, reflecting on him in an endearing manner; the Ghost in Hamlet is fundamental to the plot, has been the subject of a variety of interpretations. Shakespeare scholar W. W. Greg was of the opinion that the Ghost was a figment of Hamlet's overwrought imagination.
Shakespeare scholar J. Dover Wilson and others have argued that in having the Ghost appear a number of times to others before appearing to Hamlet, Shakespeare makes clear that the apparition is not a mere illusion. About a hundred years after Shakespeare died, the poet Nicholas Rowe reported that he had heard an anecdote that Shakespeare himself had played the Ghost, starting a story, still given credence. Modern actors who have portrayed the Ghost include Laurence Olivier, Paul Scofield, Patrick Stewart, Brian Blessed. Ghosts in the arts Ghost story The Importance of The Ghost in Hamlet. William Strunk Jr
Baldassare Castiglione, count of Casatico, was an Italian courtier, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author, most famous for his authorship of Il Cortegiano or The Book of the Courtier. The work was an example of a courtesy book, dealing with questions of the etiquette and morality of the courtier, was influential in 16th-century European court circles. Castiglione was born into an illustrious family at Casatico, near Mantua, where his family had constructed an impressive palazzo; the signoria of Casatico had been assigned to an ancestor, Baldassare da Castiglione, a friend of Ludovico III Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, in 1445. The Baldassare was related to Ludovico Gonzaga through his mother, Luigia Gonzaga. In 1494, at the age of sixteen, Castiglione began his humanist studies in Milan, studies which would inform his future writings. However, in 1499, after the death of his father, Castiglione left his studies and Milan to succeed his father as the head of their noble family. Soon his duties included representing the Gonzaga court.
He traveled quite for the Gonzagas. Urbino was at that time the most refined and elegant of the Italian courts, a cultural center ably directed and managed by the Duchess Elisabetta Gonzaga and her sister-in-law Emilia Pia, whose portraits, along with those of many of their guests, were painted by Raphael, a native of Urbino. Regular guests included: Pietro Bembo; the hosts and guests organized intellectual contests, dances, recitations and other cultural activities, producing brilliant literary works. Elisabetta's virtue and abilities inspired Castiglione to compose a series of Platonic love songs and sonnets in her honor, she loved her husband though his invalid state meant they could never have children. In 1506 Castiglione wrote a pastoral play, his eclogue Tirsi, in which he depicted the court of Urbino allegorically through the figures of three shepherds; the work contains echoes of both ancient and contemporary poetry, recalling Poliziano and Sannazzaro as well as Virgil. Castiglione wrote about his works and of those of other guests in letters to other princes, maintaining an activity near to diplomacy, though in a literary form, as in his correspondence with his friend and kinsman, Ludovico da Canossa.
Francesco Maria della Rovere succeeded as Duke of Urbino at Guidobaldo's death, Castiglione remained at his court. He and the new Duke of Urbino took part in Pope Julius II's expedition against Venice, an episode in the Italian Wars. For this the Duke conferred on Castiglione the title of Count of Novilara, a fortified hill town near Pesaro; when Pope Leo X was elected in 1512, Castiglione was sent to Rome as ambassador from Urbino. There he was friendly with many writers. In tribute to their friendship, Raphael painted his famous portrait of Castiglione, now at the Louvre. In 1516 Castiglione was back in Mantua, where he married a young Ippolita Torelli, descendant of another noble Mantuan family; that Castiglione's love for Ippolita was of a different nature from his former platonic attachment to Elisabetta Gonzaga is evidenced by the two passionate letters he wrote to her that have survived. Sadly, Ippolita died a mere four years after their marriage, while Castiglione was away in Rome as ambassador for the Duke of Mantua.
In 1521 Pope Leo X conceded to him the tonsura and thereupon began Castiglione's second, ecclesiastical career. In 1524 Pope Clement VII sent Castiglione to Spain as Apostolic nuncio in Madrid, in this role he followed court of Emperor Charles V to Toledo and Granada. At the time of the Sack of Rome Pope Clement VII suspected Castiglione of having harbored a "special friendship" for the Spanish emperor: Castiglione, the pope believed, should have informed the Holy See of Charles V's intentions, for it was his duty to investigate what Spain was planning against the Eternal City. On the other hand, Alonso de Valdés, twin brother of the humanist Juan de Valdés and secretary of the emperor, publicly declared the sack to have been a divine punishment for the sinfulness of the clergy. Castiglione answered both the Valdés in two famous letters from Burgos, he took Valdés to task and at length, in his response to the latter's comments about the Sack of Rome. While in his letter to the pope, he had the audacity to criticize Vatican policies, asserting that its own inconsistencies and vacillations had undermined its stated aim of pursuing a fair agreement with the emperor and had provoked Charles V to attack.
Against all expectations, Castiglione received the pope's apologies and the emperor honored him with the offer of the position of Bishop of Avila. Historians today believe that Castiglione had carried out his ambassadorial duties to Spain in an honorable manner and bore no responsibility for the sack of Rome, he died of the plague in Toledo in 1
Yorick is a character in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. He is the dead court jester whose skull is exhumed by the First Gravedigger in Act 5, Scene 1, of the play; the sight of Yorick's skull evokes a reminiscence by Prince Hamlet of the man, who played a role during Hamlet’s upbringing: Alas, poor Yorick! I knew Horatio. My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? It is suggested that Shakespeare may have intended his audience to connect Yorick with the Elizabethan comedian Richard Tarlton, a celebrated performer of the pre-Shakespearian stage, who had died a decade or so before Hamlet was first performed; the contrast between Yorick as "a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy" and his grim remains reflects on the theme of earthly vanity: death being unavoidable, the things of this life are inconsequential. This theme of Memento mori is common in 16th- and 17th-century painting, appearing in art throughout Europe.
Images of Mary Magdalene showed her contemplating a skull. It is a common motif in 15th- and 16th-century British portraiture. Memento mori are expressed in images of playful children or young men, depicted looking at a skull as a sign of the transience of life, it was a familiar motif in emblem books and tombs. Hamlet meditating upon the skull of Yorick has become a lasting embodiment of this idea, has been depicted by artists as part of the vanitas tradition; the name Yorick has been interpreted as an attempt to render a Scandinavian forename: either "Erick" or "Jørg", a form of the name George. The name "Rorik" has been suggested, since it appears in Saxo Grammaticus, one of Shakespeare's source texts, as the name of the queen's father. There has been no agreement. Alternative suggestions include the ideas that it may be derived from the Viking name of the city of York, or that it is a near-anagram of the Greek word'Kyrios' and thus a reference to the Catholic martyr Edmund Campion; the name was used by Laurence Sterne in his comic novels Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey as the surname of one of the characters, a parson, a humorous portrait of the author.
Parson Yorick is supposed to be descended from Shakespeare's Yorick. The earliest printed image of Hamlet holding Yorick's skull is a 1773 engraving by John Hall after a design by Edward Edwards in Bell's edition of Shakespeare's plays, it has since become a common subject. While Yorick only appears as the skull, there have been scattered portrayals of him as a living man, such as Philip Hermogenes Calderon's painting The Young Lord Hamlet, which depicts him carrying the child Hamlet on his back, as if being ridden like a horse by the prince, he was portrayed by comedian Ken Dodd in a flashback during the gravedigging scene in Kenneth Branagh's 1996 film Hamlet. Pianist André Tchaikowsky donated his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in theatrical productions, hoping that it would be used as the skull of Yorick. Tchaikowsky died in 1982, his skull was used during rehearsals for a 1989 RSC production of Hamlet starring Mark Rylance, but the company decided to use a replica skull in the performance.
Musical director Claire van Kampen, who married Rylance, recalled: As a company, we all felt most privileged to be able to work the gravedigger scene with a real skull... However, collectively as a group we agreed that as the real power of theatre lies in the complicity of illusion between actor and audience, it would be inappropriate to use a real skull during the performances, in the same way that we would not be using real blood, etc, it is possible that some of us felt a certain primitive taboo about the skull, although the gravedigger, as I recall, was all for it! Although Tchaikowsky's skull was not used in the performances of this production, its use during rehearsals affected some interpretations and line readings: for example, Rylance delivered the line "That skull had a tongue in it, could sing once" with especial reproach. In this production, Hamlet retained Yorick's skull throughout subsequent scenes, it was placed on a mantelpiece as a "talisman" during his final duel with Laertes.
In 2008, Tchaikowsky's skull was used by David Tennant in an RSC production of Hamlet at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. It was announced that the skull had been replaced after it became apparent that news of the skull distracted the audience too much from the play; this was untrue however, the skull was used as a prop throughout the run of the production after its move to London's West End. Yorick appears as a principal character in the novel The Skull of Truth by Bruce Coville
Dumbshow dumb show or dumb-show, is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of English as "gestures used to convey a meaning or message without speech. In the theatre the word refers to a piece of dramatic mime in general, or more a piece of action given in mime within a play "to summarise, supplement, or comment on the main action". In the Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, Michael Dobson writes that the dumbshow was "an allegorical survival from the morality play", it came into fashion in 16th century English drama in interludes featuring "personifications of abstract virtues and vices who contend in ways which foreshadow and moralize the fortunes of the play's characters". There are examples in Gorboduc throughout which dumbshow plays a major part, in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, George Peele's The Battle of Alcazar and The Old Wives' Tale, Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay and the anonymous A Warning for Fair Women. Shakespeare used dumbshow in Hamlet, for the play within a play staged by Prince Hamlet and the players for King Claudius.
That, like Revenge's dumbshow in The Spanish Tragedy, suggests by mime the action soon to take place in the main spoken drama. In Dobson's view the dumbshow was becoming old-fashioned by Shakespeare's time, the playwright's most elaborate dumbshows are in Pericles, a play intentionally constructed in "a mock-medieval dramatic idiom". In the 17th century, dumbshow survived as an element of the courtly masque, in the Jacobean tragedies of Webster and Middleton dumbshows are featured in masque-within-the-play episodes. From the 1630s the dumbshow no longer featured in mainstream British drama, but it resurfaced in harlequinades and melodramas in the 19th century. Thomas Holcroft introduced a dumb character in his play A Tale of Mystery, the device of using a mute to convey essential facts by dumbshow became a regular feature of melodramas. In his Dictionary of Literary Terms, J. A. Cuddon lists 19th century plays with the titles The Dumb Boy, The Dumb Brigand, The Dumb Recruit, The Dumb Driver and The Dumb Sailor.
Cuddon notes three 20th century instances of dumbshow in André Obey's Le Viol de Lucrece, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Cuddon, J A. A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. Cambridge: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-20271-4
Polonius is a character in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. He is chief counsellor of the king, the father of Laertes and Ophelia. Regarded as wrong in every judgment he makes over the course of the play, Polonius is described by William Hazlitt as a "sincere" father, but "a busy-body, is accordingly officious and impertinent". In Act II Hamlet refers to Polonius as a "tedious old fool" and taunts him as a latter day "Jeptha". Polonius connives with Claudius to spy on Hamlet. Hamlet unknowingly kills Polonius, provoking Ophelia's fit of madness resulting in her early death and the climax of the play: a duel between Laertes and Hamlet. Father of Ophelia and Laertes, counselor to King Claudius, he is described as a windbag by some and a rambler of wisdom by others, it has been suggested that he only acts like a "foolish prating knave" to keep his position and popularity safe and to keep anyone from discovering his plots for social advancement. It is important to note that throughout the play, Polonius is characterised as a typical Renaissance "new man", who pays much attention to appearances and ceremonious behaviour.
Some adaptations show him conspiring with Claudius in the murder of King Hamlet. In Act 1, Scene 3, Polonius gives advice to his son Laertes, leaving for France, in the form of a list of sententious maxims, he finishes by giving his son his blessing, is at ease with his son's departure. However, in Act 2, Scene 1, he orders his servant Reynaldo to travel to Paris and spy on Laertes and report if he is indulging in any local vice. Laertes is not the only character, he is fearful that Hamlet's relationship with his daughter will hurt his reputation with the king and instructs Ophelia to "lock herself from resort". He suspects that Ophelia's rejection of Hamlet's attention has caused the prince to lose his wits, informs Gertrude and Claudius of his suspicion, claiming that his reason for commanding Ophelia to reject Hamlet was that the prince was above her station, he and the king test his hypothesis by interrogating Ophelia. In his last attempt to spy on Hamlet, Polonius hides himself behind an arras in Gertrude's room.
Hamlet deals with his mother, causing her to cry for help. Polonius echoes the request for help and is heard by Hamlet, who mistakes the voice for Claudius' and stabs through the arras and kills him. Polonius' death at the hands of Hamlet causes Claudius to fear for his own life, Ophelia to go mad, Laertes to seek revenge, which leads to the duel in the final act; the literary origins of the character may be traced to the King's counselor found in the Belleforest and William Painter versions of the Hamlet legend. However, at least since the 19th century scholars have sought to understand the character in terms of Elizabethan court politics. Polonius was first proposed as a parody of Queen Elizabeth's leading counsellor, Lord Treasurer, Principal Secretary William Cecil, Lord Burghley in 1869. Israel Gollancz suggested that Polonius might have been a satire on Burghley; the theory was finessed with supplementary arguments, but disputed. Arden Hamlet editor Harold Jenkins, for example, criticised the idea of any direct personal satire of Burghley as "unlikely" and "uncharacteristic of Shakespeare".
Gollancz proposed that the source for the character's name and sententious platitudes was De optimo senatore, a book on statesmanship by the Polish courtier Wawrzyniec Grzymała Goślicki, read after it was translated into English and published in 1598 under the title The Counsellor. "Polonius" is Latin for "Polish" or "a/the Polish man." The English translation of the book refers to its author as a statesman of the "polonian empyre". In the first quarto of Hamlet, Polonius is named "Corambis", it has been suggested that this derives from "crambe" or "crambo", derived from a Latin phrase meaning "reheated cabbage", implying "a boring old man" who spouts trite rehashed ideas. Whether this was the original name of the character or not is debated. Various suggestions have been made to explain this. G. R. Hibbard argues that the name was Polonius, but was changed because Q1 derives from a version of the play to be performed in Oxford and Cambridge, the original name was too close to that of Robert Polenius, founder of Oxford University.
Since Polonius is a parody of a pompous pseudo-intellectual, the name might have been interpreted as a deliberate insult. The title page of Q1 states that the play was performed in London and Cambridge. In most productions of the 20th century, up to about 1980, Polonius was played as a somewhat senile, garrulous man of about seventy-five or so, eliciting a few laughs from the audience by the depiction. More recent productions have tended to play him as a younger man, to emphasise his shiftiness rather than pompous senility, harking back to the traditional manner in which Polonius was played before the 20th century; until the 1900s there was a tradition that the actor who plays Polonius plays the quick-witted gravedigger in Act V. This bit suggests that the actor who played Polonius was an actor used to playing clowns much like the Fool in King Lear: not a doddering old fool, but an alive and intelligent master of illusion and misdirection. Polonius is a controlling and menacing character. One key to the portrayal is a producer's decision to keep or remove the brief scene with his servant, which comes after his scene of genial, fatherly advice to Laertes.
He instructs Reynaldo to spy on his son, suggest that he has been gambling and consorting with prostitutes, to find out what he has been up to. The inclusion of this scene portray
The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been reformed and needed to become more Protestant. Puritanism played a significant role in English history during the Protectorate. Puritans were dissatisfied with the limited extent of the English Reformation and with the Church of England's toleration of certain practices associated with the Roman Catholic Church, they formed and identified with various religious groups advocating greater purity of worship and doctrine, as well as personal and corporate piety. Puritans adopted a Reformed theology and, in that sense, were Calvinists. In church polity, some advocated separation from all other established Christian denominations in favour of autonomous gathered churches; these separatist and independent strands of Puritanism became prominent in the 1640s, when the supporters of a Presbyterian polity in the Westminster Assembly were unable to forge a new English national church.
By the late 1630s, Puritans were in alliance with the growing commercial world, with the parliamentary opposition to the royal prerogative, with the Scottish Presbyterians with whom they had much in common. They became a major political force in England and came to power as a result of the First English Civil War. All Puritan clergy left the Church of England after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the 1662 Uniformity Act. Many continued to practice their faith in nonconformist denominations in Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches; the nature of the movement in England changed radically, although it retained its character for a much longer period in New England. Puritanism was never a formally defined religious division within Protestantism, the term Puritan itself was used after the turn of the 18th century; some Puritan ideals, including the formal rejection of Roman Catholicism, were incorporated into the doctrines of the Church of England. The Congregational churches considered to be a part of the Reformed tradition, are descended from the Puritans.
Moreover, Puritan beliefs are enshrined in the Savoy Declaration, the confession of faith held by the Congregationalist churches. In the 17th century, the word Puritan was a term applied not to many. Historians still debate a precise definition of Puritanism. Puritan was a pejorative term characterizing certain Protestant groups as extremist. Thomas Fuller, in his Church History, dates the first use of the word to 1564. Archbishop Matthew Parker of that time used it and precisian with a sense similar to the modern stickler. Puritans were distinguished for being "more intensely protestant than their protestant neighbors or the Church of England"."Non-separating Puritans" were dissatisfied with the Reformation of the Church of England but remained within it, advocating for further reform. "Separatists", or "separating Puritans", thought the Church of England was so corrupt that true Christians should separate from it altogether. In its widest historical sense, the term Puritan includes both groups.
Puritans should not be confused with more radical Protestant groups of the 16th and 17th centuries, such as Quakers and Familists who believed that individuals could be directly guided by the Holy Spirit and prioritized direct revelation over the Bible. In current English, puritan means "against pleasure". In such usage and puritanism are antonyms. In fact, Puritans placed it in the context of marriage. Peter Gay writes of the Puritans' standard reputation for "dour prudery" as a "misreading that went unquestioned in the nineteenth century", commenting how unpuritanical they were in favour of married sexuality, in opposition to the Catholic veneration of virginity, citing Edward Taylor and John Cotton. One Puritan settlement in western Massachusetts banished a husband because he refused to fulfill his sexual duties to his wife. Puritanism has a historical importance over a period of a century, followed by fifty years of development in New England, it changed character and emphasis decade-by-decade over that time.
Elizabethan Puritanism contended with the Elizabethan religious settlement, with little to show for it. The Lambeth Articles of 1595, a high-water mark for Calvinism within the Church of England, failed to receive royal approval; the accession of James I to the English throne brought the Millenary Petition, a Puritan manifesto of 1603 for reform of the English church, but James wanted a religious settlement along different lines. He called the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, heard the teachings of four prominent Puritan leaders, including Laurence Chaderton, but sided with his bishops, he was well informed on theological matters by his education and Scottish upbringing, he dealt shortly with the peevish legacy of Elizabethan Puritanism, pursuing an eirenic religious policy, in which he was arbiter. Many of James's episcopal appointments were Calvinists, notably James Montague, an influential courtier. Puritans still opposed much of the Roman Catholic summation in the Church of England, notably the Book of Common Prayer but the use of non-secular vestments during services, the sign of the Cross in baptism, kneeling to receive Holy Communion.
Some of the bishops under both Elizabeth and James tried to suppress Puritanism, though other bishops were more to
The Gravediggers are examples of Shakespearean fools, a recurring type of character in Shakespeare's plays. Like most Shakespearean fools, the Gravediggers are peasants or commoners that use their great wit and intellect to get the better of their superiors, other people of higher social status, each other; the Gravediggers appear in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet, making their only appearance at the beginning of Act V, scene i. They are first encountered as they are digging a grave for the newly deceased Ophelia, discussing whether she deserves a Christian burial after having killed herself. Soon, Hamlet engages in a quick dialogue with the first Gravedigger; the beat ends with Hamlet's speech regarding the circle of life prompted by his discovery of the skull of his father's beloved jester, Yorick. The penultimate scene of the play begins with the two clowns digging a grave for the late Ophelia, they debate. This leads them into a discussion of the impact of politics on the decision, the two parody lawyer speech.
They present Ophelia's case from both positions: if she jumped into the water she killed herself, but if the water jumped on her she did not. The First Gravedigger laments the fact that the wealthy have more freedom to commit suicide than the poor; the pair get off the subject of suicide as as they began it, soon begins the more witty section of their scene. The First Gravedigger begins to goad and test the Second, beginning by confusing him with the double meaning of the word "arms"; the dialogue between the two ends when the First Gravedigger is unsatisfied by the answer to the riddle "What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?" that the Second Gravedigger gives, sends him off to bring back alcohol. The Second Gravedigger exits as Hamlet and Horatio enter, the First Gravedigger begins to sing a song on the topics of love and graves as he digs, he throws a skull out of the grave. Hamlet talks to Horatio about how inappropriate it is to treat what used to be someone's, an important someone's, body in such a way.
He decides to ask the Gravedigger whose grave he is digging, but the Gravedigger will not reveal the answer without another witty exchange. Soon, it is revealed; the two briefly discuss Hamlet's insanity. It is shortly thereafter that the Gravedigger points out a skull that used to belong to Yorick, the king's jester and Hamlet's caretaker. Hamlet asks if this could be so, the Gravedigger responds with, "E'en that,", marking his last line in the play; when together, the Gravediggers speak in riddles and witty banter regarding death, with the first asking the questions and the second answering. GravediggerWhat is he that builds stronger than either the mason, theshipwright, or the carpenter? OtherThe gallows-maker, for that frame outlives a thousandtenants, and in the scene: GravediggerAnd when you are askedthis question next, say “A grave-maker.” The houses thathe makes last till doomsday. While digging Ophelia's grave, the first Gravedigger sings to himself: GravediggerIn youth when I did love, did love, Methought it was sweetTo contract–o–the time, for–a–my behove, Oh, there–a–was nothing–a–meet.
GravediggerBut 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. GravediggerA pickax and a spade, a spade, For and a shrouding sheet,Oh, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet. Note: this song is full of reworkings or misquotes from Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden's poem. "The Aged Lover Renounceth Love" Many important themes of the play are discussed and brought up by the Gravediggers in the short time they are on stage. The manner in which these themes are presented, however, is notably different from the rest of the play. While the rest of the play is set in the fictional world of Hamlet's Denmark, this scene helps make sense of the themes by bringing the focus to the audience's world. "By using recognizable references from contemporary times, the clown can, through the use of the oral tradition, make the audience understand the theme being played out by the court-dominated characters in the play."For example, although the First Gravedigger is in the fictional world of the play, he asks his fellow to "go, get thee to Yaughan, fetch me a stoup of liquor".
This does not appear in all versions and means little to us now, but it is "generally supposed, a nearby inn-keeper ". The First Gravedigger is in the same world as the English audience of the time when he jokes "... will not be seen in there. This gives enough of a distance from Elsinore to view what the clowns say as discreet parallels, not direct commentaries; the literal graveness of the situation subsides to the humor. This makes it possible for the characters to look at the subject of death objectively, giving rise to such speeches as Hamlet's musings over the skull of Yorick; the tone is set from the opening of the scene, during the Gravediggers' dialogue regarding Ophe