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Quote Analysis from Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Length: 448 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)
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Hamlet, a play written by the prominent writer, Shakespeare, is about a Danish prince whose father was murdered by his uncle who then married his mother. The story follows Hamlet for a time period of a few months while he decides how to deal with the situation of his uncle and mother. An important rising conflict is Hamlet?s soliloquy during act III scene I, where he finally realizes the significance of his actions towards his uncle, Claudius. Fortinbras? prompt rebuttal against Denmark for his father?s murder intrigued Hamlet and made him examine the emphasis needed to be placed on the death of his own father. Throughout the soliloquy, Hamlet mentions many thoughts surrounding this dilemma and shows a deeper, more will-powered side of himself.
?To be or not to be- that is the question??, although this quote is only a mere ten words, its value is innumerable. Hamlet is contemplating life and death, not only for himself, but also for Claudius. He is considering committing suicide with all the pressures placed on him by his father?s ghost and his conscience knowing the truth regarding his predecessor?s murder. Hamlet is questioning whether or not it is better to live everyday waking up and seeing his step-father who had once been known solely as his uncle, and acknowledging the crime committed. Or is it more beneficial to simply to concede defeat and kill himself, relinquishing himself from performing the very deadly sin he condemns Claudius for doing.
Hamlet then moves on to discuss death and metaphorically relates it to an endless sleep that ends all heartache. The thought of eternally sleeping seemed appealing for him, but then he continues to analyze it, and determines there must be a reason people live miserable lives. Simply put, humanity is afraid of death, but if it is merely a long nap, what is there to fear? Therefore, Hamlet decides that the dreams experienced after death is worse than those wretched lives. This thought may have given him new look on life, or he could have just possibly realized that he was the only person left to defend his father?s honor, but later in the story, Hamlet has a sudden change of heart and resolves that he will kill Claudius no matter the obstacles in his path.
Shakespeare has written over fifty pieces of literature, and out of his masterpieces, the most famous line is ?to be or not to be?. In order to achieve that level of appreciation, there has to be meaning and depth associated to the phrase. In fact, this was Hamlet?s final soliloquy before his met his demise and it revealed much about his character and dedication towards his kin.

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