Act V, Scene 1 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Two Clowns: rustics who are digging Ophelia’s grave

Doctor of Divinity: priest who presides at Ophelia’s burial

The two rustics discuss the particulars of Ophelia’s death and burial. The coroner has ruled that she shall have a Christian burial, which would mean that her death was accidental. But the men believe that Ophelia must have drowned herself, and suicide would prevent her from having a Christian burial. They decide that because she is a gentlewoman, she—like her class—is more privileged to drown or hang herself than are her fellow Christians. They make grisly jokes as they continue digging; then one sends the other to...

(The entire section is 946 words.)