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To Be Or Not To Be Soliloquy Interpretation

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To Be Or Not To Be Soliloquy Interpretation The first line in the soliloquy "To be, or not to be, that is the question" has resonated through history to become one of the most famous lines in Shakespeare's plays. What stands out about this line is that instead of saying should I or should I not act, he uses the much more general "To be, or not to be" which has a much more profound and deep meaning, questioning not just whether he should kill his uncle, but whether he should 'be' or not, live or not. The next few lines are similar in this way "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" instead of just applying to Hamlet, the language makes it appear as if he is speaking out to everyone, whether to be a man of action, or a man of conscience and observation. ...read more.


On the other hand, he is possibly considering the benefits of death for himself. The next three lines contrast completely with the previous four lines, "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". These lines talk about the troubles that come with death, rather than the benefits, however it may possibly not be his uncle's death in question this time, but his own. The idea of suicide is then reinforced by the next line "that makes calamity of so long life." He is expressing his unhappiness with life itself, claiming a long life to be a calamity because of the mortal coil he has suffered. On the other hand, it can again be perceived as Hamlet talking about his uncle. His discussion of suffering in life, and having a long life being a misfortune for a person, may be Hamlet discussing the guilt his uncle should be feeling. ...read more.


It is also especially relevant to the rest of the play, these lines talk about doing things despite fear, for example Hamlet killing his uncle, guilt, Claudius killing his brother, and reason, Gertrude marrying Claudius. The soliloquy then ends with Hamlet recognising that him spending so long debating is stopping him from finding his solution. "And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought," This soliloquy is a good example of Hamlets procrastination which is present throughout most of the play, but it also reveals Hamlets deep internal debate with killing his uncle and sanity itself. It is also the last debate he has with himself before he begins to take serious action in his plan. Killing Polonius and Confronting Ophelia directly showing his debateable faked madness. This makes the last few lines even more significant, showing that he has found simply to take action as a solution for his indecision. ...read more.

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