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To be, or not to be: that is the...

Language: English

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 heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. 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,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the 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 undiscover'd 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 enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. -- [Soft you now!]1
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.


Translation(s): FRE GER

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1 Summers: "But soft"

Submitted by Emily Ezust

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:49
Line count: 35
Word count: 276

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Seyn, oder Nichtseyn! dieses ist die...

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Seyn, oder Nichtseyn!  dieses ist die Frage!   --   
Ist's edler, im Gemüth des Schicksals Wuth 
Und giftiges Geschoss zu dulden?  oder 
Ein ganzes Heer von Qualen zu bekämpfen,   
Und kämpfend zu vergehn?  --  Vergehen?  --  schlafen!  
Mehr heißt es nicht!  Ein süßer Schlummer ist's,  
Der uns von tausend Herzensangst befreit,  
Die dieses Fleisches Erbtheil sind!  Wie würdig 
Des frommen Wunsches ist vergehen, schlafen!   
Doch schlafen?  nicht auch träumen?  --  Ach!  hier liegt 
Die Knoten!  Träume, die im Todesschlaf  
Uns schrecken, wenn einst dieses Fleisch verwest, 
Sind fruchtbar!  diese lehren uns geduldig 
Des langen Lebens schweres Joch ertragen.     
Wer litte sonst des Glückes Schmach und Gießel? 
Der Stolzen Übermuth, die Tyrannei 
Der Mächtigen, die Qual verschmähter Liebe?  
Den Mißbrauch der Gesetze, jedes Schalks  
Verspottung der Verdienste mit Geduld?  
Könnt' uns ein bloßer Dolch die Ruhe schenken, 
Wo ist der Thor, der unter dieser Bürde 
Des Lebens länger seufzete?  --  Allein  
Die Furcht vor dem, was nach dem Tode folgt,  
Das Land, von da kein Reisender zurück  
Auf Erden kam;  entwaffnen unsern Muth.  
Wir leiden lieber hier bewußte Qual, 
Eh' wir zu jener Ungewißheit fliehn.  --  
So macht uns alle das Gewissen feige!  
Die Überlegung kränkt mit bleicher Farbe 
Das Angesicht des feurigsten Entschlusses.  
Dies unterbricht die größte Unternehmung 
In ihrem Lauf; und jede wicht'ge That
Erstirbt.


About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Moses Mendelssohn's gesammelte Schriften. Sechster Band, Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1845, in Gedichte, pages 391 - 392.


Submitted by Melanie Trumbull

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Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Text added to the website: 2017-08-29.
Last modified: 2017-08-29 20:17:02
Line count: 33
Word count: 209