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"To be or not to be that is the question" Comment. in hamlet story

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shico | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 16, 2007 at 4:54 AM via web

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"To be or not to be that is the question" Comment.

in hamlet story

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 16, 2007 at 8:25 AM (Answer #1)

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This brief quotation and the surrounding soliloquy has long struck viewers and readers as profound because it spells out humanity's existential dilemma so directly and profoundly. We all have to answer the challenge, the question, the dilemma that is existence, and we have to say yes or no—but either answer has its price.

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arjun | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 28, 2007 at 5:10 AM (Answer #2)

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His fourth soliloquy is considered most philosophical and is used as example by the writers. He is shown on the horn of dilemma and thinks whether he should tolerate it or fight against the tyranny of life. His acute pain, caused by obsession, pushes him to committing suicide. He prefers escaping from reality. As he says:
To be, 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.

Such dejection is interim .when he comes to round, he condemns it cowardice and uplifts himself to the spell of suicide. He opposes death and imagines whether death is a deep sleep, free from troubles with whom the body is attached, or not. He jumps to tantamount that death is no doubt a sleep but there are thousands dreadful visions usually disturb and shock such sleep.

As he says:
And by opposing end them. To die – to sleep
Nor more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh………………………..life

As he says:
for who would bear the whips and scorns of life.

He hesitates to commit suicide because it is not way of getting rid of the troubles of life, but of implicating or trapping himself into more torturous troubles. If it had not been,it would have been the best remedy of all troubles given by life in the world.
As he says:
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sick

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