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Dost thou think Alexander looked o’ this fashion in’th’ earth?
Throughout history, the skull has been used as a signifier of danger, death and mortality, as well as a representation of life. However, the influential Mexican artist, José Guadalupe Posada, popularised the notion that regardless of wealth, power, education or social status, beneath the flesh, the skull represents the fundamental equality of all people.
Perhaps that is what Shakespeare meant when Hamlet took hold of a skull and asked his friend, Horatio, whether Alexander the Great would have looked the same in the grave.
Produced in collaboration with Orion Kendal