At the end of Hamlet, shortly after Hamlet finally dies, following a series of rehearsals or simulacrums (“I am dead” 5.2.286, “I am dead” 5.2.291, “O, I die” 5.2.305, and finally, “He gives a long sigh and dies” 5.2.312: Shakespeare 2008) that began with his first soliloquy, “O that this too too solid flesh would melt, / Thaw and resolve itself into a dew” (1.2.129–30), Fortinbras enters and, looking at the bodies on the floor, exclaims1

The term “quarry” designates, since before Shakespeare's time, the pile of dead animals at the end of a hunt. Here, it describes the dead bodies of Hamlet, Gertrude, Claudius, and Laertes present in this scene, while also connoting all the deaths and dead bodies shown or referred to in the full play: Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet's homonymous father, Fortinbras's homonymous father, Yorick, and all the anonymous soldiers,...

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