alas, poor yorick!

Cultural Dictionary

Alas, poor Yorick! definition

Words from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. Hamlet says this in a graveyard as he meditates upon the skull of Yorick, a court jester he had known and liked as a child. Hamlet goes on to say that though “my lady” may put on “paint [make-up] an inch thick, to this favour [condition] she must come.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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