Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 10

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HAMLET and HORATIO withdraw
HAMLET and HORATIO step aside.

LAERTES

    What ceremony else?

LAERTES

What other rites are you going to give her?

HAMLET

That is Laertes, a very noble youth, mark.

HAMLET

That’s Laertes, a very noble young man. Listen.

LAERTES

What ceremony else?

LAERTES

What other rites are you going to give her?

PRIEST

200Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful,
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodged
Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers
205Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her.
Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.

PRIEST

I’ve performed as many rites as I’m permitted. Her death was suspicious, and were it not for the fact that the king gave orders to bury her here, she’d have been buried outside the church graveyard. She deserves to have rocks and stones thrown on her body. But she has had prayers read for her and is dressed up like a pure virgin, with flowers tossed on her grave and the bell tolling for her.

LAERTES

Must there no more be done?

LAERTES

Isn’t there any other rite you can perform?

PRIEST

210No more be done.
We should profane the service of the dead
To sing a requiem and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.

PRIEST

No, nothing. We would profane the other dead souls here if we sang the same requiem for her that we sang for them.

LAERTES

    Lay her i' th' earth,
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
215May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A ministering angel shall my sister be
When thou liest howling.

LAERTES

Lay her in the ground, and let violets bloom from her lovely and pure flesh!
I’m telling you, you jerk priest, my sister will be an angel in heaven while you’re howling in hell.

HAMLET

(to HORATIO) What, the fair Ophelia?

HAMLET

(to HORATIO) What, the beautiful Ophelia?