To be, or not to be, that is the Question
 William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1623). copy citation

Author William Shakespeare
Source Hamlet
Topic life dilemma suicide death
Date 1623
Language English
Reference The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act III, Scene 1
Note Hamlet line

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master These are the opening words of the very famous Hamlet soliloquy, and probably one of the best-known lines in English. While Hamlet is not alone on the stage (but considers himself alone), he wonders about death and life, suffering from the murder of his father and the need for revenge he feels. « To be, or not to be » has been heavily quoted in numerous works. Moreover, the « that is the question » pattern is often used to express the idea of dilemma, by replacing « be » with another term.
useful useless
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