Hamlet Analysis In Modern English

Act 5

Scene 1

First Clown: Is she still having a Christian burial even though she committed suicide?
Second Clown: She is.
First Clown: How is that, unless she drowned in her own self-defense?
Second Clown: Good point.
First Clown: I think she did commit suicide.
Second Clown: I don't think so.
First Clown: If the man goes to the water and drowns, he drowns himself. If the water comes to him and he drowns, he doesn't drown himself.
Second Clown: Is this the law?
First Clown: Yes.
Second Clown: Do you want to know the truth? If this woman was not a gentlewoman, she wouldn't have a Christian burial.
First Clown: If someone has the guts to drown themselves, they are not Christian. There aren't any ancient gentlemen except gardeners, ditchers, and gravediggers. They hold up Adam's profession.
Second Clown: Was he a gentlemen?
First Clown: He was the first to have arms.
Second Clown: He didn't have any.
First Clown: Are you a heathen? The Bible says the Adam dug. So Adam dug. I have a question, if you don't answer it correctly, then God help you!
Second Clown: Ask me.
First Clown: Who builds stronger than the mason, the ship-builder, or the carpenter?
Second Clown: The gallows maker.
First Clown: You are right. The gallows are built stronger than the church to someone who does evil. Try again.
Second Clown: Who builds stronger than a carpenter, a ship-maker, or a mason?
First Clown: You tell me that.
Second Clown: Okay.
First Clown: What is it?
Second Clown: I don't know.
First Clown: The next time someone asks you that question, say 'a gravedigger' because his houses last until doomsday! Now, go to Yaughan and get me some whiskey.

In youth when I did love, did love,
Methought it was very sweet,
To contract, O, the time, for-a my behove,
O, methought, there-a was nothing-a meet.

Hamlet: Does this guy not realize he is a gravedigger?
Horatio: He doesn't think of it.
Hamlet: Okay. I see.
First Clown:

But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
And hath shipped me intil the land,
As if I had never been such.

Hamlet: That skull had a tongue that could sing once. Look at how he throws it there as if it were Cain who committed the first murder. This might be the head of a crafter.
Horatio: It could be.
Hamlet: Or of a courtier, who could say, 'Good morning, sir. How are you, sir?' This could be my Lord So-and-so, who praised my Lord So-and-so's horse, but meant to borrow it. Couldn't it?
Horatio: Yes, it could be.
Hamlet: Now he's the food for worms. Were his bones made nothing more than to play with? My bones ache to think about it.
First Clown:

A pick-axe and a spade, a spade,
For and a shrouding sheet;
O, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.

Hamlet: There's another. This just might be a lawyer. Is this what he gets in the end? Some dirt? Should the purchaser get more?
Horatio: Not an inch more.
Hamlet: Is parchment made of sheepskin?
Horatio: Yes, and of calfskin too.
Hamlet: People are no better than animals if they think a legal document will protect them. I'll speak with this man. Who's grave is this, man.
First Clown: Mine. A hole of clay that's specially made-
Hamlet: I could believe that it is really yours because you are lying in it!
First Clown: Your lying out of it and it's not yours; I won't lay in it but it is mine.
Hamlet: You are lying in it and you claim it's yours. It is for the dead, not for the living. Therefore you are lying...
First Clown: It's a living lie. If I'm lying, then so are you.
Hamlet: Who is the man you digging it for?
First Clown: It is not a man.
Hamlet: Who is the woman?
First Clown: It is not a woman either.
Hamlet: Who is going to be buried in it?
First Clown: Someone who was a woman, but she is dead.
Hamlet: He is very literate. Peasants are so close to courtiers that they rub blisters on their feet. How long have you been a gravedigger?
First Clown: I started the day after old King Hamlet defeated Fortinbras.
Hamlet: How long has it been?
First Clown: You should know that. Every fool knows that. It was the day young Hamlet was born- he is crazy and has been sent to England.
Hamlet: Of course. Why was he sent to England?
First Clown: They won't notice he's there. They're as crazy as he is.
Hamlet: How did he become so mad?
First Clown: They say strangely.
Hamlet: What do you mean by 'strangely'?
First Clown: He lost his wits.
Hamlet: Where?
First Clown: Here in Denmark. I've been a sexton for 30 years.
Hamlet: How long does a man lie buried before he rots?
First Clown: If he isn't rotten when he was placed in, about 8 or 9 years. A tanner lasts 9 years.
Hamlet: Why does the tanner last longer than the others?
First Clown: Because his skin is so rough that it takes water a long time to break through it. Here is a skull that's been lying here for 23 years.
Hamlet: Who's is it?
First Clown: It was a crazy person. Who do you think it is?
Hamlet: I don't know.
First Clown: He poured Rhenish wine on my head once. He is Yorick- the king's jester!
Hamlet: This?
First Clown: That one.
Hamlet: Poor Yorick! I knew him once, Horatio. He was hilarious. Where are you tricks, jokes, or songs now that made everyone laugh? Not one left? Horatio: tell me one thing.
Horatio: What is that?
Hamlet: Do you think Alexander the Great looks like this in the ground?
Horatio: Yes, I do.
Hamlet: And smelled as bad? Ugh!
Horatio: Yes, probably.
Hamlet: How we are recycled! Isn't it cool how the dust of Alexander the Great could end up being a stopper for a beer keg?
Horatio: You're carrying this a  bit too far.
Hamlet: No, it's not. Alexander dies, he is buried, he returns to dust, and he is made into a cork.

Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw!

Quiet! Here comes the king, the queen, and the courtiers. Who do they follow? This person committed suicide by the way they act. Let's hide and watch.
Laertes: What other ceremonies?
Hamlet: That's Laertes, a noble youth. Listen to what he says.
Laertes: What other ceremonies?
Priest: Her funeral rights are gone and the cause of her death is unknown, and if it were a normal burial, she would be buried in unsatisfied ground until doomsday. Stones would be thrown on her instead of prayers. Here she gets what a normal person would receive if they died.
Laertes: Is that all you can do?
Priest: That is all that we can do. We would profane the Service of the Dead if we sang a solemn requiem and put her to rest like those who die naturally.
Laertes: Lay her in the earth, and may violets grow upon her virginal body. My sister will be an angel when you are burning in hell, you disrespectful priest!
Hamlet: What? Ophelia?
Queen: I hoped you would have been my Hamlet's wife. I thought I would spread flowers on your bridal bed. I didn't want to place them on your grave.
Laertes: Don't bury her yet: I want to touch her one last time. May the earth be placed upon you to make a mountain higher than Mt. Olympus!
Hamlet: Who wants to grieve? It is me- Hamlet the Dane!
Laertes: Let the devil have your soul!
Hamlet: Let go of me. There is something inside of me you don't want to mess with!
King: Separate them.
Queen: Hamlet, Hamlet!
All: Gentlemen!
Horatio: Contain yourself!
Hamlet: I'll fight him over this until I die!
Queen: What's wrong, Hamlet?
Hamlet: I loved Ophelia. What will you do for her?
Queen: Leave him alone!
Hamlet: Would you weep, fight, wound yourself, drink vinegar, eat a crocodile? I'll do it! I would be buried alive with her! If you're going to protest, I'll do it as loud as you!
Queen: This is mad. He'll be like this for a while.
Hamlet: Why are you treating me like this? I've always liked you. Not even Hercules can stop a dog from having its day!
King: Will you look after him, Horatio? Be patient about what we talked about. Gertrude, make sure your son is guarded. This grave will have another body as a memorial. Bide your time for an hour.