• Enter a GRAVEDIGGER and the OTHER gravedigger

    GRAVEDIGGER

    Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she willfully seeks her own salvation?

    OTHER

    I tell thee she is. Therefore make her grave straight. The crowner hath sat on her and finds it Christian burial.

    GRAVEDIGGER

    How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense?

    OTHER

    Why, ’tis found so.

    GRAVEDIGGER

    It must be se offendendo. It cannot be else. For here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act. And an act hath three branches—it is to act, to do, to perform. Argal, she drowned herself wittingly.

    OTHER

    Nay, but hear you, Goodman Delver—

    GRAVEDIGGER

    Give me leave. Here lies the water. Good. Here stands the man. Good. If the man go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he nill he, he goes. Mark you that. But if the water come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself. Argal, he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.

    OTHER

    But is this law?
  • A GRAVEDIGGER and the OTHER gravedigger enter.

    GRAVEDIGGER

    Are they really going to give her a Christian burial after she killed herself?

    after she killed herself?

    In Shakespeare’s time, people who committed suicide were not given a Christian burial.

    OTHER

    I’m telling you, yes. So finish that grave right away. The coroner examined her case and says it should be a Christian funeral.

    GRAVEDIGGER

    But how, unless she drowned in self-defense?

    OTHER

    That’s what they’re saying she did.

    GRAVEDIGGER

    Sounds more like “self-offense,” if you ask me. What I’m saying is, if she knew she was drowning herself, then that’s an act. An act has three sides to it: to do, to act, and to perform. Therefore she must have known she was drowning herself.

    OTHER

    No, listen here, gravedigger sir—

    GRAVEDIGGER

    Let me finish. Here’s the water, right? And here’s a man, okay? If the man goes into the water and drowns himself, he’s the one doing it, like it or not. But if the water comes to him and drowns him, then he doesn’t drown himself. Therefore, he who is innocent of his own death does not shorten his own life.

    OTHER

    Is that how the law sees it?