Internet Shakespeare Editions


"To be or not to be, ay there's the point"?

The first quarto of Hamlet, for example, may have been a pirated copy, though its exact origins remain obscure; some have suggested that it was reconstructed in part by an actor who played the minor roles of Marcellus and Voltemand, though this theory has not been recently supported.

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 heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to! 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. 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. . .

To be or not to be, ay there's the point,
To die, to sleep, is that all? Ay all:
No, to sleep, to dream, ay marry there it goes.
For in that dream of death, when we awake,
And borne before an everlasting judge,
From whence no passenger ever returned,
To undiscovered country, at whose sight
The happy smile, and the accursed damned....