Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 1 decade ago

To be or not to be?

What does this phrase mean? "To be or not to be"

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The popular interpretation of the speech holds that it is a debate on suicide. Hamlet rather impersonally considers the attractions of death ("not to be"), which he likens to a sleep, over life ("to be"), whose pain seems unavoidable. But in the end he notes that the fear of possible suffering in the afterlife "that we know not of" (as opposed to the known evil that is life) tends to stop human beings from actively ending their existence

  • 1 decade ago

    What Hamlet is musing on is the comparison between the pain of life, which he sees as inevitable and the fear of the uncertainty of death and of possible damnation of suicide.

    Hamlet's dilemma is that although he is dissatisfied with life and lists its many torments, he is unsure what death may bring.

    He can't be sure what death has in store; it may be sleep but in perchance to dream he is speculating that it is perhaps an experience worse than life.

    Source(s): English teacher
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It means, "should I kill myself or keep on living?"

  • 1 decade ago

    "To live or not to live." Hamlet is considering suicide when he says it.

    Source(s): English teacher
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  • 1 decade ago

    Exactly what it sounds like.

    "Do I collect honey or not..."

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