Act 5

Table of contents

Scene 1

Time: About one day after scene 7, act 4

Location: A churchyard

Characters: Two gravediggers, Hamlet, Horatio, Laertes, priest, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, entourage.
 

While two gravediggers are digging the grave for Ophelia's burial, they speculate about the possible cause of death. One of them thinks it would be wrong to give her a Christian burial: He considers Ophelia a suicide. The other admits that she is given a Christian burial only because she occupied a high social position. As Hamlet watches the first gravedigger dig the grave in seemingly high spirits, he becomes suspicious. Accompanied by Horatio, he asks the gravedigger for whom the grave is intended, but receives only an ironic and punning reply.

Finally, a funeral procession appears in the cemetery, accompanied by the royal couple, Laertes, and a priest. Horatio and Hamlet hide from the approaching mourners. When the priest does not want to extend the ceremony any further because he also thinks Ophelia is a suicide, Laertes becomes angry. Only then does Hamlet realize that it is Ophelia's funeral.

While Laertes jumps into his sister's grave to m...

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