Why Is Hamlet's First Soliloquy

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Essay on Hamlet
To be or not to be (Act 3, scene 1, lines 56-88)
Who would have thought that the words "To be or not to be" would stand the test of time? These six words have echoed through thousands of actors' mouths and a myriad of books have recited these famously written words from William Shakespeare's pen. His colourful words paint worlds and his complex characters bring out a broad spectrum of feelings in us - and at times he makes us question our lives. Shakespeare's renowned soliloquy performed by the main character, Hamlet, is a splendid example of Shakespeare's masterful skill with words, metric and composing complex characters. If we take a look at the metre, language and stylistic devices we notice some interesting things.
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It is quite remarkable how important the first sentence is. This soliloquy is almost like the Shakespearean sonnet, but backwards. The last line of the Shakespearean sonnet usually sums up the sonnet whereas the first line in "To be or not to be" sums up the rest of the soliloquy - though it's not a sonnet. There is no certain order in the metrics. It changes throughout the text just like Hamlet changes his mind. He is debating whether or not he should kill himself so his own uncertain mind keeps own arguing back and forth just like the metrics switches, and perhaps that similarity exists to show exactly how bewildered Hamlet is when he ponders about to be or not to be. We see this debate he is having with himself in the metaphors. "The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" (l. 58) he asks himself if he should fight back all the suffering he will face in life. The next lines are also a metaphor and it is a response to the first metaphor: "Or to take arms against a sea of trouble, And by opposing end them" (lines 59-60). Is it better to end all troubles by killing oneself? Shakespeare uses the language in such a way that it can be reflected onto our characters - a metaphor that represents confusion also reflects the character's

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