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HORATIO
What’s that, my lord?
HORATIO
What’s that, my lord?

HAMLET
Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' th' earth?
HAMLET
Do you think Alexander the Great looked like this when he was buried?

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HORATIO
E'en so.
HORATIO
Exactly like that.

HAMLET
And smelt so? Pah! (puts down the skull)
HAMLET
And smelled like that, too? Whew! (he puts down the skull)

HORATIO
E'en so, my lord.
HORATIO
Just as bad, my lord.

HAMLET
To what base uses we may return, Horatio. Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bunghole?
HAMLET
How low we can fall, Horatio. Isn’t it possible to imagine that the noble ashes of Alexander the Great could end up plugging a hole in a barrel?

HORATIO
'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
HORATIO
If you thought that you’d be thinking too much.




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HAMLET
No, faith, not a jot. But to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we make loam—and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer barrel?
Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall t' expel the winter’s flaw!
But soft, but soft a while.
HAMLET
No, not at all. Just follow the logic: Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returned to dust, the dust is dirt, and dirt makes mud we use to stop up holes. So why can’t someone plug a beer barrel with the dirt that used to be Alexander? The great emperor Caesar, dead and turned to clay, might plug up a hole to keep the wind away. Oh, to think that the same body that once ruled the world could now patch up a wall! But quiet, be quiet a minute.
Enter King CLAUDIUS, Queen GERTRUDE, LAERTES, and a coffin, with a PRIEST and other lords attendant.
CLAUDIUS enters with GERTRUDE, LAERTES, and a coffin, with a PRIEST and other lords attendant.



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    Here comes the king,
The queen, the courtiers—who is this they follow,
And with such maimèd rites? This doth betoken
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life. 'Twas of some estate.
Couch we a while and mark.
Here comes the king, the queen, and the noblemen of court. Who are they following? And with such a plain and scrawny ceremony? It means the corpse they’re following took its own life. Must have been from a wealthy family. Let’s stay and watch a while.

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