Tuesday, March 25, 2003

To be or not to be ?

Hamlet has decided to enact a play and hopes to catch his uncle flinch at the play. The waiting tortures Hamlet. He debates with himself if he should put an end to his misery by committing suicide. But he's afraid of what will happen to his soul after he commits this sin.

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;

Should I exist ( To be ) or should I cease to exist ( not to be) ? Should I continue to suffer or end them all by sleeping forever ?

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:

( But what happens after suicide? WOuld we still dream ? Would this continue to torture us ? )

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?

Why should one bear the troubles of life, the heartbreak of love, the delay of law, the insolence os others when one can quietly end everything with a thrust of a dagger? ( bodkin = dagger, fardel = trouble, bourn = boundary ) But who knows what happens after ? Should one just bear these troubles instead of flying to much bigger ones which await us after we commit suicide?

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 pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry, (95)
And lose the name of action.

This fear of afterlife makes us cowards. ( Native hue of resolution = natural courage). These thoughts prevent us from taking our own lives.


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