I have a drama class and I need an easy 5 line Shakespeare quote and a prop to go with it. Anybody have some ideas?  

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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Probably one of the most famous scenes in all of literature is the graveyard scene in Hamlet. Hamlet has just returned to Elsinore, where he will soon die. He is at the graveyard with his best friend, Horatio. Although he doesn't know it yet, his girlfriend Ophelia is about to be buried there this very day.

Hamlet sees two grave diggers, referred to as Clown One and Clown Two. He talks to them about the work that they do as grave diggers and gains a rather matter-of-fact perspective on the brevity of life and permanence death. All the while they are digging poor Ophelia's grave.

As would be expected, the Clowns, while digging away, throw up this bone and that... and they eventually throw up a skull. This is your prop, and here are your lines (in boldface) from Act 5, scene 1 (if you should choose this prophetic scene to enact):


...Here's a skull, now.

This skull hath lain in the earth three and twenty years. A whoreson, mad fellow's it was. Whose do you think it was?


Nay, I know not.


A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! A poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick's skull, the King's jester.




E'en that.


[Takes the skull.]

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

He hath borne me on his back a thousand times.

And now how abhorred in my imagination it is!

My gorge rises at it.

Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft.

Yorick's grave becomes Ophelia's grave, and both shared Hamlet's kisses, though years and years apart.