Close Text Analysis Act 5, Scene 1 Hamlet

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Christian church
Ophelias death parodies the drowning case of 1554
She went to the water, but it is argued the water came to her and it wasn’t suicide. Water symbolizes the cleansing of sin. If she weren’t a gentlewoman she wouldn’t have gotten a Christian burial Clergy favours royalty

Shakespeare criticizes the church indirectly through the play

Se offendendo (self offense) – se defendendo (self defense) Said se offendendo but should have said se defendendo. If the water did come to her than it was self-defense and not suicide. How do you defend yourself against an offense committed by yourself in defense of yourself? But it is self-defense from your life. Many people commit suicide because you are in pain and are suffering. Relates to the to be or not to be speech.

Crowner
= coroner n.   (Now only dialectal, or with allusion to the passage in Hamlet.) 1. An official who holds inquests into violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths. 2. In England, an official responsible for safeguarding the private property of the Crown. Crowner found Ophelia’s death to be accidental and not suicide. The queen tells us this in IV, vii, 171-82.

Bibliography

Hamlet Navigator: Summary of Act 5, Scene 1:
http://shakespeare-navigators.com/hamlet/Five1.html

ECCLESIASTICAL LAW IN HAMLET: THE BURIAL OF OPHELIA: http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/ecclesiastical_law_in_hamlet.html

Shakespeare's Fools: The Grave-Diggers in Hamlet
http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/hamlet/hamletgravediggers.html Water in the Bible
http://www.learnthebible.org/water-in-the-bible.html
PART ONE - Ecclesiastical Law in Hamlet
http://www.sourcetext.com/lawlibrary/guernsey/01.htm
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