© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hamlet Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) according to the Norton edition

Quote #10

Not from his
Had it the ability of life to thank you.
He never gave commandment for their death.
But since, so jump upon this bloody question,
You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Are here arrived, give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view,
And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
How these things came about. So shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall'n on th' inventors' heads. All this can I
Truly deliver.

At this moment, after the final bloodbath, Horatio and Fortinbras call for the dead bodies to be placed "high on a stage" to be viewed by the "noblest" "audience" while Horatio tells everybody what's gone down in Elsinore. If we think about it, Horatio and Fortinbras basically turn the royal court into a giant theater. These actions suggest that theater can be a kind of tribute to the dead, like a funeral service). It can also be a place where memory is preserved indefinitely. Hamlet will never be forgotten —he'll live on as long as his story is told. (So, 400+ years… and counting.)

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...