To be, or not to be – Literary Analysis Exercise


The student will be able to paraphrase Hamlet’s Soliloquy.

1) To be, or not to be, that is the question: – Die or live what a choice!

2) Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer – Does putting up with crap make you better?

3) The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, – Lots of crap!

4) Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, – Or maybe I should stop being such a wuz and fight!

5) And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep – And if things go wrong and I die then it might be ok

6) No more; and by a sleep, to say we end – When I say sleep then I really mean death

7) The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks – Life sucks and then you die

8) That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation – Life sucks some more because we have a body

9) Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep, – Yeah death isn’t looking so bad

10) To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub, – The priests might be right and you suffer after death!  Dream means afterlife!

11) For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come, – Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t

12) When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, – Left our body

13) Must give us pause. There’s the respect – Since we don’t know what happens when we die then maybe we should cool it.

14) That makes Calamity of so long life: – Life sucks and therefore a long life sucks even more

15) For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time, – If we knew about death then maybe we wouldn’t take it

16) The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely, – Hell is other people!

17) The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay, – Part of suffering is getting your heart broken.  Part of suffering is crooked cops and lawayers

18) The insolence of Office, and the Spurns – You can’t fight city hall!

19) That patient merit of the unworthy takes, – Put on a brave face but life still sucks

20) When he himself might his Quietus make – Death is the ultimate silence!

21) With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear, – And if you are naked you suffer even more

22) To grunt and sweat under a weary life, – Sweating is just another proof that life sucks

23) But that the dread of something after death, – One more time, better the devil you know than  the devil you don’t know

24) The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn – Death might be a gateway to another place

25) No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will, – There is no tour guide book to the place after death

26) And makes us rather bear those ills we have, – That other place might even be worse!

27) Than fly to others that we know not of. – Not knowing also sucks

28) Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all, – Thinking too much makes you think twice

29) And thus the Native hue of Resolution – Thinking leads to dithering

30) Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought, – Yeah, thinking all the time can suck

31) And enterprises of great pitch and moment, – Think less and do more

32) With this regard their Currents turn awry, – Stuff happens

33) And lose the name of Action. Soft you now, – Stuff happens and we go limp

34) The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy Orisons – Maybe someone hot from this life is waiting for me in the next life, yippee!

35) Be all my sins remembered.  – I might go to hell!  OMG!

Scribd Worksheet:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/165640827/To-Be-Or-Not-to-Be-Literary-Analysis-Exercise

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