In Hamlet, William Shakespeare’s main character ponders the certainty of death over a skull. It is Yorick, a jester he once knew, who owns it. He infers that death is the ultimate equalizer of all human lives in his mind. Finally, everyone will “return to dust.”
In Act 5 Scene 1, Shakespeare depicts Prince Hamlet as being oblivious. He is overthinking prior events that have brought him to this point of ruin. The location adds to the nihilistic tendencies in the primary hero and his profound existential crisis. Two gravediggers engage in a little bit of gallows humor while they sit near the skull of a person whom Hamlet used to know. Even after locating Yorick, his father’s jester, Hamlet is unaffected by this discovery.
Hamlet’s thoughts sink deeper. He accepts that death has the ultimate power to level everyone. Whether a sovereign or a serf—every person meets the same end. His renowned lines “Alas, poor Yorick” convey no sorrow. Instead, they bring an end to the idea of his spiritual development and maturation. Prince has excellent recollections of Yorick. However, they serve only as a warning for Hamlet: all human efforts eventually come to an end with death.
His sorrows drove him toward his death. His thoughts are obsessed with both physical and spiritual deterioration. Hamlet perceives the futility of fighting further, but he is repulsed by it. He tries to make peace with the fact that things will not turn out well for him. The Shakespearean drama, on the other hand, does not end happily for its protagonist.
The Gravediggers see themselves as time’s equivocators. Because they all arrive at the same conclusion, time causes everyone to regress. The undertakers believe that no matter who you are or where you live, you will eventually end up in the dirt. Time evens things out over time. If a ruler follows their natural way of life, he may pass through a homeless person’s stomach-related arrangement at some point. (Worm eats dead lord – fish eats worm-beggar gets that fish and goes on the cycle.)
Hamlet extends this approach to illustrate how remarkable persons may return to the world in the manner of itinerant people and common folks. Alexander the Great, for example, is used “to keep a keg from exploding.” Everyone’s fate is thus decided. No matter how exceptional an individual may be, he will not receive an end-all sentence. This is our physical body’s predetermined destiny, in which we pay little attention to God or life after death.
Hamlet’s final words about the graveyard skulls, as we saw earlier, are that “all men, whether they be Alexander the Great or anybody else, return to dust.”