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Analysis of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy

Summary:

Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy explores the theme of existence and the human condition. He contemplates the pain and unfairness of life versus the fear of the unknown in death. Hamlet debates whether enduring life's hardships is nobler than seeking escape through death, revealing his profound existential crisis and his struggle with action and inaction.

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Comment on Hamlet's soliloquy "To be or not to be."

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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Which choice does Hamlet make in the "to be or not to be" soliloquy, and why?

In Hamlet's speech from Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act 3.1.56-88), the "to be" Hamlet says refers to existence:  Hamlet is asking, to exist, or not to exist, that is the question

The play opens with Hamlet suffering from melancholia, or depression.  Before the opening line of the play, he suffers his father's unexpected death, his mother's hasty and incestuous marriage, and the loss of the thrown (to Claudius, who marries the queen).  He is understandably depressed.

In Act 1 the Ghost appears and tells Hamlet that his father was murdered, and instructs Hamlet to gain revenge for him, but Hamlet, by the time he makes his "to be" speech isn't sure if the Ghost is really that of his father or if it might be a devil trying to deceive him.

Add to the above the fact that Ophelia and Ros. and Guil. have all turned against him, so to speak, and Hamlet is wondering whether or not existence is worth while.  That is what the speech is about.   

During the speech, Hamlet, so to speak, backs into an answer.  He decides that existence is better than the alternative.  He decides that since no one knows with certainty what lies on the other side of death, one is better off existing.  "For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,..." he proclaims:

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?

Hamlet chooses existence, not for any life-affirming reason, but out of fear of what lies on the other side of the grave.

As he says:

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.

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Which choice does Hamlet make in the "to be or not to be" soliloquy, and why?

The answer to this depends on how literally you interpret this phrase.  When Hamlet was speaking of "being" or "not being," he was referring specifically to death and life.  Being means living, and not being means dying or being dead.  That is the literal translation of that quote.  Based on that translation, Hamlet chooses "to be."  He doesn't kill himself, even though he longs to, which is what the entire point of his soliloquy is. He wishes he had the courage to die and get rid of his miserable life, but is too afraid of what comes after life to do it.  So, in the sense of living or dying, Hamlet definitely chooses to live.  We see his choice to live come into play again later as he discovers his friends have been ordered to kill him; instead of letting them and ending his miserable life, he connives his way out of them to live longer.  Then, at the end, he fights to the death against Laertes, not wanting to die.

If you interpret his speech more symbolically, as meaning that "being" is acting being proactive in your life, and "not being" as sitting passively by and not doing anything to change your circumstances, Hamlet does a bit of both.  Mostly though, he chooses "not to be," as he refuses over and over again to act out his revenge.  He comes  up with excuses, makes speeches, and procrastinates over and over again.  It isn't until he is sent away and is standing on a battlefield surrounded by active warriors defending their country that he is inspired "to be," and he goes home determined to finally be proactive about getting revenge.  So, on a symbolic level, Hamlet spends a good portion of the play choosing "not to be," before being prompted "to be."  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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Which side of the problem does Hamlet choose in his "To be or not to be" soliloquy?

At the end of his soliloquy, he makes it very clear that his answer is that he cannot kill himself:

Thus the native hue of resolution/ Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought

He is essentially saying, "Clearly I am getting slowed down because I have to think so much about this idea and whether or not suicide is worth it, given that it is both a mortal sin and leads to an afterlife 'from whose bourn no traveller returns' to tell us what it is like, so it is plenty scary."

In "los[ing] the name of action," Hamlet decides that he cannot go through with his plan to kill himself and will instead continue to exist. He continues to struggle with why he should exist, though as the previous answers make clear, he eventually decides that he ought to kill Polonius to avenge his father's death.

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Which side of the problem does Hamlet choose in his "To be or not to be" soliloquy?

Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act 3.1) is not primarily about suicide.  The words to be mean to exist.  Hamlet is pondering the question of existence.  He's wondering whether or not existence is worth while. 

Suicide only comes in to play because that happens to be one of the ways a person can end existence.  He mentions suicide while he is making an analogy or giving an example.

Basically, Hamlet decides existence is not worth the trouble, but the alternative is too scary.  The alternative, of course, is the unknown afterlife.  Were it not for the unknown afterlife, existence would not be worth the trouble. 

Hamlet comes down on the side of existence, in the end, because he doesn't know what lies on the other side of death. 

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Which side of the problem does Hamlet choose in his "To be or not to be" soliloquy?

Hamlet is asking himself whether he should just kill himself now or whether he should avenge his father's death. Hamlet is philosophical in his thoughts, and they lead him to the next question of whether there is life after death. He wonders if death is like sleeping and having dreams or perhaps there's more to it. His conundrum of  "to be or not to be" reflects Hamlet's  question of whether it would be better for him to suffer now or suffer later.

Hamlet chooses to get revenge against the king for killing his father. It takes him a while to make the decision, but he goes through with it and dies in the end, along with his mother, the king, Ophelia, and her father.

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What does Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy in act 3, scene 1 mean?

I'm assuming you mean Act IV, scene iv, line 33, that begins with "How all occasions do inform against me". If that is the case, this is when Hamlet finally decides to be a man of action rather than of thought. He is ashamed of his inability thus far to seek vengeance upon his uncle/stepfather, Claudius, and has determined that no matter the outcome, he will go back to Denmark (he's on a ship in this scene) and kill Claudius.

Check the link below for more information! Good luck!

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