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  • I
  • In these scenes, Hamlet is heard pondering whether "to be, or not to be," that is, whether to live or die. He believes he is alone in this situation, but the audience is aware that King Claudius and Polonius are watching.
  • To be, or not to be, that is the question: ...
  • II
  • To die, to sleep, no more; and by a sleep, to say we endThe heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocksThat Flesh is heir to?
  • III
  • Hamlet slowly comes to the realization that the price of living is to die and spend all of eternity dreaming, bordering on crazy. His comprehension of the reasons why life is long and full of unpleasant occurrences led him to the antiquated insight that "There's the respect that produces catastrophe of so long life."
  • aye, there's the rub,For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, ... There's the respect that makes calamity of so long life.
  • IV
  • That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,When he himself might his Quietus makeWith a bare Bodkin? ...
  • V
  • Hamlet continues his thoughts of suicide by emphasizing the obvious intentions to die when he says the quote above. Both the King and Claudius are still listening without Hamlet's knowledge.
  • 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?
  • VI
  • Suicides became less significant, as he said in an archaic fashion in the text bubble above.His "loss of action" simply meant that the chance had passed and he no longer had the want to live.The one-sided speech is ended.
  • And enterprises of greatpitchand moment,With this regard their Currents turnawry,And lose the name of Action.
  • A while after speaking of the disadvantagesHamlet pulls out his bodkin as though he had persuaded himself to commit suicide and was glad to no longer exist because he feels that life needs to be burdensome for one and his recent awareness of life's "rub."This is seen by the two spies.
  • Although the hardships of life are too harsh, he rapidly altered his views and is now reluctant to take his own life because his dread of what is unknown about the hereafter has shaken him.
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