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Robert Jackson



Hamlet's Soliloquy


-William Shakespeare



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,
slings=projectiles whirled and then released
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
take arms=take up weapons
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
No more - an interjection, spoken with emotion
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 't is a consummation
consummation=ending, completion
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
wished=wished for
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
rub=obstacle
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
what dreams may=such dreams that might
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
coil=covering like a snakeskin
Must give us pause: there's the respect
give us pause=cause us to pause
respect=aspect

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,
contumely=rudeness
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
despised=rejected
The insolence of office, and the spurns
office=office holders
spurns=contemptuous rejections

That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
of=from
takes=receives

When he himself might his quietus make
quietus=death
With a bare bodkin! Who would fardels bear,
bodkin=slender dagger
fardels=bundles, burdens

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourne
bourne=boundary
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
puzzles the will=confuses the will power
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
bear=endure
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
conscience=thought
And thus the native hue of resolution
hue=color
resolution=resolve

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
sicklied o'er=weakened
cast=appearance

And enterprises of great pith and moment
pith=value
moment=importance

With this regard their currents turn awry
regard=view
currents=rivulets
awry=aside

And lose the name of action.
name=right to be called by the name
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, 't is a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. 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 undiscovered country from whose bourne
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.



Click here to watch video: Robert adopts an English accent and recites "To be or not to be"