Please take out your blue books
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Please take out your blue books Open to page 31 Take out a clean sheet of paper What you do not finish today is homework so let’s get started. Hamlet’s soliloquy.

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Please take out your blue books open to page 31 take out a clean sheet of paper

Please take out your blue books

Open to page 31

Take out a clean sheet of paper

What you do not finish today is homework so let’s get started.


Hamlet s soliloquy

Hamlet’s soliloquy

  • At this point in the play, Hamlet feels that he is in a crisis. His father died a few months earlier under mysterious circumstances. Hamlet discovers that his father was secretly murdered – by Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Making things even worse, Claudius then marries Hamlet’s mother. Hamlet does not know what to do about this knowledge. He wonders whether he can trust anyone or if perhaps he is going crazy.


Please take out your blue books open to page 31 take out a clean sheet of paper

HAMLET: 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. There's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely


Please take out your blue books open to page 31 take out a clean sheet of paper

The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprise of great pitch and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action.


2 activities

2 activities

  • With a partner translate each line into your own words.

  • Write a paragraph of no less than 5 sentences explaining whether Hamlet has an optimistic or pessimistic view on life.

  • EC: answer each of the following questions in 2-3 sentences each.

  • Does the soliloquy form seem to favor the expression of emotion (pathos) or logic (logos)? Explain why you think so.

  • Does Hamlet’s soliloquy use emotion (pathos) to create a specific effect on the reader? Explain.

  • Does Hamlet’s soliloquy use logic (logos) to create a specific effect on the reader? Explain.

  • When Hamlet speaks his soliloquy, he is in crisis. How do his circumstances position Hamlet to speak with authority (ethos) about the value of life? Does Hamlet seem to be speaking about his life in particular or about the quality of life in general?


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