Why do you think Shakespeare inserts the comic interaction between the gravediggers right before Ophelia's funeral?
Responses will vary. As with any instance of comic relief, the primary purpose of the gravediggers is to break the unrelenting gloom of the previous scenes, and to provide a respite before the heartbreaking spectacle of Ophelia's funeral. In other sense, the gravedigger scene also allows for a different perspective on one of the play's main themes - death.
What do we learn about Gertrude's plans for Hamlet and Gertrude in scene 1? How does this contradict what we learned about their relationship in Act I?
In the burial scene, we...
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