Saturday, April 23, 2016

No, I Really Did Know Him Well...

On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, let us pause to note that there is an odd kind of competition for even a non-speaking role in one of his most famous plays: That of Yorick in Hamlet.

It's kind of tough, since Yorick appears only as a skull in Hamlet's hands during one of the Danish prince's soliloquies. But any number of people have included in their final wishes the desire to have their skulls removed from their bodies and properly processed so as to be used in performances of Hamlet.

The story at the link notes that some productions of the play aren't able to use an actual human skull because their particular conception and staging affords it some rough treatment, and human bone absent a living body can become rather brittle. And an untimely "Ooops!" can really ruin the mood.

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