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To Be or Not to Be

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Autor:   •  March 19, 2017  •  Study Guide  •  350 Words (2 Pages)  •  261 Views

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The poem, “To be, or not to be” is an acclaimed tragedy written by William Shakespeare. In the poem the protagonist, Hamlet, is contemplating whether or not to commit suicide. This is an internal struggle he faces; he is unsure of what the future withholds therefore he is reluctant to continue living. However, the inability of not knowing what occurs in the afterlife keeps him alive along with his desire for revenge against his uncle: Claudius. Hamlet states, “But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover’d country from whose bourn”. “The undiscover’d country” represents a metaphor for death. The use of this phrase helps the reader understand that death is the bridge between the known and unknown. Hamlet contemplates death several time over the course of the poem. The knowledge Hamlet has received about his mother, father, and uncle is tough to bear, therefore Hamlet resorts to suicide. Throughout the poem Hamlet is indecisive; he is contemplating whether or not to commit suicide. The tone of the poem is questioning of oneself and their selfless desires. Hamlet states, “Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death”. In this line Hamlet is asking himself, Who would choose to discomfort themselves through an exhausting life, unless they were afraid of something dreadful after death? Currently, Hamlet is battling the loss of his late father, his mother had recently remarried his father’s murderer: Claudius, and he has been given orders by his father’s ghost to avenge his death. The hindrances that restrict Hamlet from continuing his regular life are motivating Hamlet to consider suicide as an alternate solution. Hamlet states, “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time”. This line is an example of personification. Time cannot be “whipped or scorned”. In this line Hamlet is asking himself, Who would want to deal with the hardships of life? His referring to life’s humiliations, the abuse of elders, and unreturned love. These obstacles have held Hamlet back and are provoking Hamlet to question his integrity.


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