Hamlet, By William Shakespeare

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Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, with out a doubt holds the most famous soliloquy in English history spoken by Hamlet in Act III, scene i, lines 57-90. This soliloquy holds much importance to the play as a whole because it ties together the reoccurring themes of suicide and Hamlet’s inaction portrayed by Shakespeare. Hamlet poses a problem, which is the driving force of the play: “To be or not to be?”(III.i.57). Shakespeare uses this logical question asked by Hamlet to drive out his underlying point; that is, deciding between life and death, which is an extremely difficult decision, and practically impossible decision for Hamlet to make in his soliloquy. Hamlet is repetitively contemplating whether it is easier to put up with the “slings” and “arrows” life unfortunately throws at you, or fight against the difficulties by simply ending his life. Shakespeare continues by comparing the simplicity of death to the hardships of life through a long list of miseries outlined by Hamlet, which is weighing what Hamlet’s best option is: to live or die. As the metaphors and comparisons become extremely redundant, it becomes apparent that Hamlet’s inaction is directly linked to his fear of death because of the uncertainty of the afterlife. Shakespeare’s emphasis on suicide and Hamlet’s inaction in this soliloquy drives the point that the hardships people face can lead to the contemplation of suicide. However, the uncertainty of the act is a good thing in Shakespeare’s eyes because

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