The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1863 Tuesday, 3 October 2000.
Date: Tuesday, 3 Oct 2000 09:06:45 -0400
Subject: 11.1851 Re: What's It All About, Hamlet
Comment: Re: SHK 11.1851 Re: What's It All About, Hamlet
I would like to concur with Sean Lawrence that the memento mori
tratidition is important to the discourse of death in Hamlet. I lost a
lot of email in a recent war with my computer (it won), so I hope I'm
not backing up any tracks, but the visual image of Hamlet contemplating
the skull of Yorick, which has become emblematic of Shakespearean
tragedy for us was in the early modern, emblematic of the memento mori
practice. I thought Billy Crystal conveyed this well when he answered
Kenneth Branagh's question: "This same skull, sir was sir YORick's
skull, the King's jester" and a whoreson mad fellow's it was.