To be, or not to be…

 …from the quills of the dead white poets

William Shakespeare (1564 -1616)


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 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 dispriz’d love, the law’s decay,

 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 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 makes 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.

  [From Hamlet]



About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to To be, or not to be…

  1. tear carrier says:

    Where have you dug out that one? Absolutely unknow in modern Aus education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>