Hamlet Act V Study Questions

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Act V Study Questions
1. What are the two clowns doing while they talk? Who is the "she" of 5.1.1? Why, according to the second clown, is she really being given a Christian burial? The two clowns, or better known as gravediggers, are digging a grave for someone. The “she” they’re talking about is Ophelia. They are questioning whether if Ophelia committed suicide or if her death was accidental. According to the second clown, Ophelia is only given a Christian burial because she was an upperclass women.
2. What happens in the discussion between Hamlet and the Gravedigger? What does Hamlet learn from his confrontation with Yorick's skull? What does he learn from his meditation on Alexander and Caesar? Hamlet asks the gravedigger whose grave who was digging for. The gravedigger replies sarcastically by saying that it is his. The gravedigger states to Hamlet that their death will eventually come, thus explaining why he said the grave was his. Hamlet learns from his confrontation with Yorick’s skull that even the greatest people will become nothing after their death. This idea applies to Alexander and Caesar. Although they were great leaders, their death will be the same as everyone else’s.
3. What do we learn from Gertrude's farewell to Ophelia (5.1.256-59)? Would Polonius have been surprised if he had heard this? Explain. We learn from Gertrude’s farewell that she thinks that Ophelia is still a virgin. Rather than being surprised, Polonius would be happy if

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