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To be, or not to be, that is the question

Updated on August 24, 2017

Question? What question?

"To be, or not to be, that is the question" is a super duper famous quotation from the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare sometime around the 17th century. It's possibly even the best-known line from all literature.

What's your opinion? To be, or not to be?

Picture on the left:

"The American actor Edwin Booth as Hamlet, ca. 1870"

Source: Wikipedia

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Some facts

The quotation "To be, or not to be, that is the question" is from the play Hamlet's act three, scene one. It goes like this:

"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 disprized 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."

Source: Wikipedia

Well, what does the quotation mean? According to The Phrase Finder, it simply means this:

Is it better to live or to die?

René Descartes
René Descartes

Cogito, ergo sum

René Descartes, quite a famous French philosopher born in the 16th century, once said:

“Cogito, ergo sum.”

It's Latin and means

“I think, therefore I am.”

But in the other hand, Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher, says that in order to think, you need to be conscious, but in order to be conscious, you don't need to think.

To be, or not to be - that really is the question!

Your turn!

To be, or not to be?

To Nom, or not to Nom? - That is the question

To Nom, or not to Nom? That is the question
To Nom, or not to Nom? That is the question

Source: Google

To say 'Hi,' or not to say 'Hi' - That is the guestbook

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    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 4 years ago


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      anonymous 5 years ago


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      inspirationz 5 years ago

      well, this lens certainly made me smile! :D

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Enjoyed your article, different and fun. *blessed by a squid angel*

    • Inkhand profile image

      Inkhand 6 years ago

      A fun and witty lens. "Brevity is the soul of wit." (Hamlet. ACT II Scene 2.)

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 6 years ago

      Good lens. Rafick

    • dogface lm profile image

      dogface lm 6 years ago

      @CruiseReady: Thanks :)

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Welcome to Squidoo, dogface! Can't tell you how happy it makes me to see one so young with an interest in the Bard!