Smokey Joe's Poetry Corner

HAMLET

Act 3, Scene 1


 HAMLET 
     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 wish'd. 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 despised 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 undiscover'd 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 remember'd.

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