In my early years of High School the teacher assigned the class to memorize the first seven lines of Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy, and speak them aloud in front of the class. I had a great fear of speaking in public, however my love for the lines in Hamlet pushed such thoughts to the back of my head as i memorized them. I spoke them in front of the class with some anxiety and passed the project. I still remember the lines, and often find myself speaking them.
Anyone whos ever sat down and pondered suicide understands the meaning behind the words. We weigh our options between life and death with a sick coldness as if we’re picking our clothes for the day. We call ourselves cowards for not being able to die, then go one with our lives. As much as suicide can be impulsive, it can be well thought out. Such arguments in the mind are common. Do we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take up arms against a sea of troubles?
Suicide ends up idolized in your mind, it becomes the thing you hope to be brave enough to do someday. It may be too complex to say why, but the word coward is often cried by those who can’t do it. Its only with time and work that you soon understand how brave it is to keep living.
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 wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, 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 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 enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia?