Which way is Hamlet leaning his third soliloquy? Quote the line that tells you this.
I can't decide if he decides that living is ultimately better than offing himself.
2 Answers | Add Yours
Hamlet's third soliloquy is his "To Be or Not To Be" soliloquy. Hamlet is contemplating life and death. He questions whether it is better to live with the pain that life brings -heartache, angry people- or if it is better to die. He describes death as "sleeping." He suggests that people don't choose death because it is the unknown. No one knows what happens after one dies. It suggests that people deal with the pain that life can bring because they are afraid of the unknown.
The third soliloquy of considerable significance occurs in Act III Sc.-1. It is of great significance because it brings out the inmost trait of Hamlet's character- his speculative turn of mind. It is to be remembered that Hamlet has arranged for the play to be acted the same evening "to catch the conscience of the king." His future course of action depends upon the success of his plan. It is expected that his mind should be engrossed with the outcome of the play and the possible reactions of the king. Instead there of we find him contemplating on the problems of life and death. He is asking himself whether it is nobler to suffer the misfortunes of life or to put on life itself with all its evils and miseries.
To be or not to be :that is the question.
whether it is noble in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
But that the dread of something after death.
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will.
The problem ,that Hamlet wants to solve has a universal significance but it has no relation to the stern realities that confront him in the present. The soliloquy strike the key note of Hamlet's character:
And thus thw native hue of resolution
Is sicklied over with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their currents turn away.
And lose the name of action.
In the last three lines, Hamlet recalls his beloved Ophelia with the earnest request to ask pardon for his sins whenever she prays to God.
Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes