Accommodating death the ending of hamlet
" Hamlet answers promptly: "Excellent well; you are a fishmonger" (2.2.173-74).Taken at literal value, this baffling fling leaves a weird reverberation. His hide is so tann'd with his trade, that 'a will keep out water a great while, and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body" (165-77).(May not this imagined scene remind us of the one in which Julius Caesar was assassinated by "a certain convocation of politic[al]" men led by Brutus?In Hamlet, which is the immediate successor to Julius Caesar—these two have always been companion plays—we learn on Polonius's own avowal that, as a university student, he used to play the role of Julius Caesar in dramatic performances mounted by the university [the University of Wittenberg, Hamlet's alma mater?The individual "pass[es] through nature to eternity" (1.2.73) and "the rest is silence" (5.2.358).
According to Hamlet's quaint, cynical imagination, Polonius is now "At supper. We may callously say that perhaps this is an instance of retributive justice meted out to a Machiavellian of Polonius's caliber.
In Shakespeare and other Elizabethan playwrights worms do eat dead human bodies.
However, in Hamlet the eating does not stop there; it goes on endlessly, forming something like a vicious circle. The person who initiates this voracious movement finally meets fish-eating men.
], the Caesar who he expressly adds is to be killed by Brutus [3.2.98-104].
Julius-Polonius is being assaulted by a party of political man-worms.) The pitiable condition is, however, not solely Polonius's. We fatten ourselves by eating all other living things which we fatten for that purpose, but all this is finally for the ingestion of us as prey by maggots.
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Litvin specializes in modern Arabic drama and political culture.