and therefore make her grave straight

Most notes will suggest that the gravedigger is saying to make her grave straight away, as in, right away, as in ASAP. As this is common usage in Shakespeare, I agree. But puns are also common in Shakespeare and I’d bet that the other sense of straight is not entirely unwanted here. Make her grave straight as in, not round, not bent, not curved.

Which makes me wonder if there might have been some customs of burial that would allow for different kinds of death. Like, aren’t you supposed to bury some people face down? Like witches or something? And I could imagine a world wherein you were supposed to bury a suicide victim in, say, a fetal position, curved around themselves for comfort.

So, yes, of course, the gravedigger is saying he should make the grave right away – but Shakespeare’s propensity for wordplay makes me wonder about other ways of experiencing that “straightness.”

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