Symbols In Hamlet– Yorick’s Skull Significance
sign: Something that represents or recommends something else. Symbols typically take the form of words, visual images, or gestures that are used to communicate concepts or beliefs. A sign is typically a material item used to represent something undetectable. Example: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of limitless jest, of a lot of excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times. And now how hated in my imagination is it! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have actually kissed I know not how oft.
Where be your gibes now?
Hamlet Skull Quotes, William Shakespeare, page 252: Line 158-165
(Hamlet, William Shakespeare, page 252: line 158-165) Function: Hamlet and Horatio endeavor into the graveyard and have a short discussion with the gravedigger. The severe digger holds up a skull sitting neighboring and informs them that it is the skull of the king’s old jester, Yorick, who Hamlet was very close too as a child. Hamlet, in the height of his depression and fascination with death, is significantly impacted by the image of the skull and the signs it represents.
The skull revives lots of memories of Hamlet’s apparently pleased childhood, hence representing Hamlet’s loss of happiness and innocence. At this time Hamlet stares death straight in the face, holding the skull with his own hands. The discovery of the skull likewise brings realization to everyone’s eventual disintegration, and the reality that everybody in society, no matter how rich or bad, is brought down to the very same level in death.
Hamlet mentions that Polonius will be consumed by worms, that even kings are eaten by worms, and that dust from the decayed body of Alexander the Great may be used to stop a hole in a beer barrel. Alexander the Great couldn’t prevent death, neither can Hamlet. The skull and its lots of signs highlight the death of Hamlet’s dad, Polonius and Ophelia, expose the pitiful state that Hamlet has actually been reduced to and encourage his ideas of suicide and vengeance.