ACT V, SCENE 1 – Opening Scene – Outdoors/In the Churchyard
1. What is the significance of the Gravediggers’ songs in scene 1? How does it fit into the play? 2. In what ways do Hamlet’s reactions to the skulls in the graveyard seem to suggest a change in his outlook? 3. What does Hamlet observe about the funeral procession before he knows the identity of the person to be buried?
★ Flashback – Upon Hamlet’s realization of who the skull belonged to, he endured a flashback about an old friend named Yorick. “Oh, poor Yorick! I used to know him… He carried me on his back a thousand times... ” (Lines 159-162). ★ Symbolism – At Ophelia’s funeral, Laertes says “And from her fair and unpolluted flesh May violets spring!” (Lines 209-210). Spring symbolizes the beginning of something new and the violets represent love and innocence. ★ Imagery – When one of the gravediggers states his belief about how Ophelia’s death is worth of a Christian burial. “Here lies the water;; good. Here stands the man;; good. If the man go to this water and drown himself… he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life. (Lines 13-17). ★ Irony – The gravedigger didn’t know that he was speaking to Hamlet when…