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“Hamlet” Monologue Analysis Essay

The text to be or not to be by William Shakespeare refers to the paradox of life and death. He starts the poem by questioning himself: is it worth to exist or not, and by existing he is referring to the human ability of thinking; in the sense of: I exist because I can think. This issue is developed throughout the poem were the action of thinking deals with the decision of; should I live or not and it certainly becomes an obstacle to make that decision. In that sense the poem transmits that the innate human quality of thinking is what makes us weak instead of being a useful tool to make right decisions. In other words, despite we can perceive a solution to our problems (death), we are incapable of taking action (committing suicide) because we have the eternal problem of thinking.

“To be or not to be, that is the question” this is the phrase that opens the poem, and in a sense, it is like a synthesis of what the author is going to explain later. He is referring to the verb “to be” practically the same as “to exist”. The question is: should I live? And by that he is considering that, by being humans, we have the ability to think. In some sort of way, Shakespeare is leading us to the paradox of life and death were human doubting is crucial in the understanding of the two, so there can be a decision.

“to die, to sleep, No more; and by sleep to say we end the heart ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is hair to: it is a consummation devoutly to be wished” He is analyzing death and seeing it as the solution of the life he is living at the moment. In some way, he is confirming that being alive is a constant pain and so death is the unique pathway that would lead him to another life, a painless one.

“Thus the conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is slicked o’er with the pale cast of thought” This is the fragment in which the poem determines the reason why Hamlet haven’t decided yet nor taken action. This is the fragment were Shakespeare blames human thought for it being an obstacle when there is a decision to make, more precisely: human doubting explores the possible consequences of each action we are about to make, and by knowing them, we soon get afraid of our destiny and of the unknown circumstances that will surrounds us later. Is an outlook to the future that force us to think back constantly. The doubt and the cowardness do not lead us anywhere.

The text can be related to my life in the sense that it is the perfect explanation of the reason why we are afraid of making decisions. Every decision is premeditated and that is why we are uncapable of taking action. Besides, I believe that this reasoning of human thought as an obstacle when it comes to make a decision, applies to our daily life; We give up opportunities because we take a long time thinking, and that certainly is a huge obstacle to clarify our minds and make the right determination.


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