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To be or not to be: What is Hamlet Asking Himself?
After reading about the soliloquy in the module notes and discussing whether Hamlet’s actions can be considered as heroic, you are ready to analyze the “to be or not to be” soliloquy. For this assignment, you will be focusing on several performances of the soliloquy and how they bring out different aspects of Hamlet’s character. One of the beauties of Hamlet and one of the reasons why we’re reading it today is that it’s possible for the words to project slightly different meanings depending on how they are embodied by various actors. There are several key questions to address when performing a close analysis of Hamlet’s soliloquy. These questions, listed below, should be used to structure your essay.
This short essay should be between 500-700 words and submitted in the Blackboard Dropbox. You should draw examples from both the play and at least two of the soliloquy performances listed below. You can use the performances to illustrate how the text, when spoken by an actor, still conveys a certain meaning. Your decisions about the meaning of the text should be drawn from both your reading of it and viewing of the performances.
What is Hamlet asking himself?
What relationship does this question hold to his ongoing decision as to whether or not he should act on the ghost’s information?
Does Hamlet explicitly answer his question by the conclusion of the soliloquy? If so, what is this answer? Is there any answer given at all?
Please see these links to the performances:
Hamlet’s Soliloquies [Video File] [06 min 55 sec]
Hamlet’s Journey [Video File] [06 min 47 sec]
Olivier’s Hamlet Film (1948): To Be or Not To Be Soliloquy [Video File] [04 min 35 sec]
David Tennant’s version of Hamlet in the following BBC YouTube clip (2009) [Video File] [03 min 02 sec]
Kenneth Branagh’s version of Hamlet in his movie
And on a humorous note, here’s Arnold Schwarzenegger’s version as seen in Last Action Hero [Video File] [01 min 44 sec]
Kenneth Branagh`s Hamlet does not open in you tube for me.
Last action Hero
Hamlet Kenneth B.
To Be or not to Be Student: Professor: Course title: Date: Introduction Written by Shakespeare, the Soliloquy of To be or not to be remains one of the most famous and popular works of literature to be done. It is not only intriguing but also very engaging to the audience. This is one of Shakespeareâ€™s plays to be staged numerous times making it one of the most known works of Shakespeare. The story revolves around the main character Hamlet who is the prince of Denmark