Hamlet in act III scene II is left alone and starts to philosophize about the concept of suicide. He presents a logical argument both for and against ending his own life and seems to be governed by reason rather than frenzied emotion as in the previous two major soliloquys . To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer Hamlet poses the question to himself , to exist , or not to exist . He says that is the question but he goes on to ask himself many more in the subsequent dialog .
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, asking himself whether it would appear nobler for him to suffer whatever fortune blocks his path with or to in some way combat and stop the troubles one has to endure. He uses the words slings and arrows to make his problems more real as comparing them with weapons can lead us to believe they have similar effects of harm . A sea of troubles is used to emphasize and exaggerate Hamlets problems.. And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end Hamlet believes that the only way to end his troubles is either to die or sleep comparing the two saying one is as good as the other . That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; Hamlet believes that the only way to finally settle matters is to commit suicide. In these two lines there are three religious elements , firstly he says that flesh is heir to troubles , with this he means the original sin that his religion is born with , the word devoutly and the reference to suicide as he knows that suicide is the ultimate sin .
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come Using the parallel of sleeping and death , he compares the afterlife with dreams saying that when you sleep you dream but you can never predict what of , as in the afterlife u never know what one will encounter upon arriving there. When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there’s the respect he says we must stop to think before we take action as we must take into consideration other aspects.
That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, These other aspects are what makes life so long lived by people as Hamlet believes no person would bear the misfortunes and suffering that we encounter during life if we were certain of a way to go to a better place.
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? o would fardels bear, One can easily settle his own problems with jus one slash of a mere knife so why do we live life with these burdens on his back , if we can so easily dispel them. To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, to work hard and sweat in a life that mentally wears us down the only thing that stops us ending life is the uncertainty of an afterlife as we may encounter something not to our liking or our pleasure. The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will The afterlife is an undiscovered country or realm that no person returns from past its boundarys and that is what leads the mind to be confused . Hamlet has already experienced a ghost of his father though so this line indicates us to believe that Hamlet still does not know for certain the nature of the ghost that visited him. And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? We would rather suffer the down side of life than take a risk and go somewhere that we have no idea or grasp of.
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Our mind that makes us set apart from animals in the exact thing that is our downfall as it makes us lack courage and make us all look and seem like cowards. Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pitch and moment Hamlet believes that the more we think about this thought of suicide , the more it becomes of ill appeal to us as thinking of the climatic moment of killing one self would be another aspect that would discourage suicide . With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. — Soft you now! Hamlets believes people would become unstable like the sea when tides change and so would become incapable of the deed they set out to do. The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember’d. Hamlets soliloquy is cut short as he hears Ophelia praying and so goes to attend her. We can learn from this that Hamlet is still of a sound mind and his antic disposition is still just that but we also see one of Hamlets floors , his procrastination over this subject loses him valuable time on many fronts.