Wednesday, February 10, 2010

To be or not to be

Today being Wednesday, it's time for a bit of the Bard. Here's what may be the best-known and best-loved soliloquy ever crafted by Shakespeare (and that is truly saying something). Heck, I have TWO icons I could have used for this one, but I've gone with my lovely "To sleep, perchance to dream" one over the "To be or not to be". I hope that will eventually perform this (or another) of the Hamlet monologues as part of her plan to take over the internets. And I guarantee that is gonna want to watch the video clip below, as should, well, anyone, but particularly any Dr. Who fans out there. Yeah, I'm lookin' at you and .

From Hamlet, Act III, 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 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 despisèd 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 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 remembered.

*contumely: harsh language or treatment arising out of haughtiness or contempt
**fardels: bundles; burdens

Today, rather than a clip from, say, Mel Gibson or Laurence Olivier or Kenneth Branagh, here's David Tennant's Hamlet from the 2009 BBC production. (Dear BBC: Whyfor has this not yet crossed the pond? WHERE'S MY DAVID TENNANT HAMLET? *shakes fists*)

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