To be or not to be: That is the question: Or is it:

Flat or Curvaceous:
This is the burning question


Hamlet’s ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Speech, Act 3 Scene 1

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 heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. 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,
The 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 the 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 undiscover’d 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 enterprises of great pith 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 remember’d.

William Shakespeare


Below inset is an excerpt from an article by
No Sweat Shakespeare
with a summary and meaning of
‘To Be Or Not To Be’.

Fun fact:
The storyline of Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ is based on Hamlet.

A Brief ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Summary
Hamlet considers life and death. Life is a lack of power, at the mercy of fortune. Death is empowering, allowing the defeat of fortune. To die though, action in life is needed, making the proposition circular and hopeless. And life after death is an unknown, possibly worse than life itself.

Hamlet ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Meaning
Hamlet is thinking about life and death, pondering a state of being versus a state of not being – being alive and being dead. ‘To be or not to be’ is followed by ‘that is the question.’ It is the great question that Hamlet is asking about human existence in general and his own existence in particular – a reflection on whether it’s better to be alive or to be dead.

Read Hamlet’s ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Soliloquy:
Full quote of speech with a summary analysis, FAQs, performances and some fun stuff! at : No Sweat Shakespeare

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