Please help with homework Hamlet ActV, 5.1: Look at the repeated puns and wordplay during the exchange

  1. Look at the repeated puns and wordplay during the exchange between Hamlet and the Gravedigger. Who comes out on top in this war of words? How might this be significant? Hint: contrast this exchange with any of the earlier exchanges between Hamlet and Polonius. Think of the idea of the comedian and the straight man (like Abbott and Costello).
  2. Think about the symbolism of the “appearance” of Yorick, the king’s jester, during this scene. What is the role of a court jester? How has humor evolved throughout the play until now? How does Hamlet address Yorick’s skull?
  3. What is the controversy over Ophelia’s burial later in the scene? Hint: the Gravediggers were arguing about it, also.
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