“To be, or not to be, that is the question.” -William Shakespeare

Why not start big? I mean, isn’t this Shakespeare’s most famous quote? It may even be the most famous quote in the English language. Do you know what play it’s from? That’s right, Hamlet. Do you know what it means? “To be, or not to be-” is a soliloquy. Now, there’s a good vocabulary word. For those of you who don’t know, a “soliloquy” is the act of speaking one’s thoughts out loud, particularly when alone, or in spite of who may be listening. Soliloquies are most often used in plays.

Everyone knows this famous line, but how many of us have actually stopped to think about what it means? Most of us probably had to memorize or dissect the whole passage in an 8th grade English class and haven’t thought much about good ol’ Shakespeare since. Here’s a refresher:

“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.”

Wow. He really was a master. And look how many literary gold nuggets are in this passage! “To sleep, perchance to dream,” “…in that sleep of death what dreams may come…,” “Mortal coil.” I think that most scholars agree that Hamlet was talking about human suffering in this passage and ruminating on whether life or death was more favorable. Although death sometimes seems appealing when our earthly suffering becomes too great, Hamlet pointed out that death poses an unknown. How do we know that our suffering will end with death?

Now, that’s some deep stuff. I chose this passage for my first blog post because I really considered whether this blog should “be” or “not be.” In the end, I decided to give it life. I was worried about being able to commit to a new project. Would I have the time? Would it be WORTH my time? Would anyone care what I had to say? I’ve decided, however, that this blog will be a great stepping stone for me. I’d like to eventually write full time. My dream is to become a best-selling author, and I’m working on my debut novel as I type these words. I figure this blog will be a great place to promote my work and also for me to be able to do what any good writer should do every day- READ and WRITE!!! So show me some love by subscribing to this blog and I’ll keep the posts coming. (I plan on posting one-liners and excerpts from my upcoming novel here as well as famous quotes and quotes that relate to my everyday life, so my followers here will be the first ones to get a sneak-peak of my work!) This is only going to get better, so subscribe and join this journey with me 🙂 I’ve got so many great ideas, and I’m sure you do as well, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Maybe your work or ideas will be showcased here, too!

4 thoughts on ““To be, or not to be, that is the question.” -William Shakespeare

    1. Thank you for the feedback. I am most certainly going to keep writing! Subscribe to be notified of my most recent posts, and look out for me on social media 🙂 Thanks for your support!

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