To Be Or Not To Be — Hamlet — Shakespeare
HAMLET: To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. — Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia! — Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE (Hamlet) is shared here with those who admire Shakespeare’s work and those who haven’t had an exposure to such a magnanimous display of creativity and force.
A soliloquy, it is completely recited (in my voice) except the following words–the last words Hamlet utters–which change the mood and situation “Soft you now/The fair Ophelia!–Nymph, in thy orisons/Be all my sins remembered.”
TO BE OR NOT TO BE like the drama Hamlet is perhaps the most famous of Shakespeare’s dialogues. It is the theatricals that it suits the most as Ben Crystal suggests in his OP (Original Pronunciation) talks. And indeed, great actors like Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Richard Burton, Kenneth Branagh, David Tennant, Mel Gibson, Toby Stephens and many more have performed this dialogue pretty fantastically with different interpretations as a result of their stresses, tone, mood, pace, modulations etc. The dialogue remains dynamic and in possession of a world full of new interpretations, varying with each performance. Each time it sparks different verve and vitality. Shakespeare always stays in the limelight.
I’ve used the following song/music as a background to this video. Thanks to Kevin MacLeod: