One of the best examples of soliloquies in form of a monologue presented by William Shakespeare in one of his great tragedies named Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1 the lines of the poem uttered by prince Hamlet after the death of his father King Hamlet.
Text To Be, Or Not To Be
To be, or not to Be
In this line, the question rises in Hamlet’s mind that what is he going to do, he should do or not. Here, readers know that he is thinking about committing suicide because he is feeling tormented by the fact that his mother was having an illegitimate extramarital affair with his own uncle. They have murdered his father. His father’s soul comes in his dream and asks him to take his revenge and not to hurt anyway his wife. He finds himself unable to do anything and wants to commit suicide in his madness.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
He asks himself that is it fine to suffer in mind and take no action against anything causing trouble to a person. He is trying to analyze that is it morally good to suffer and do nothing.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
He is talking about the acts of his mother and uncle which by fortune giving him mental problems.
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
In this line, he is arguing an alternative to taking arms against a sea of trouble. He either wants to kill his mother and uncle or him.
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
The poet referred to the Death to here as a long sleep.
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
Can he overcome his troubles with the help of suicide?
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
The pain caused by his mother and uncle surprised him after finding their relation.
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
He believes that all the pain and troubles are only affecting his body. If he kills himself, He can escape from them because the entire problem can be ended with his body.
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
He agrees to die for a long sleep. He thinks it is religiously right to end up and die.
Consummation: The act of bringing to completion or fruition
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
Here comes a doubt in his conscience that if there comes a dream may be a nightmare in his sleep because he has already compared his death to sleep. He can get more troubles because unlike sleep we cannot rise from deathbed whether it is tormenting us. Moreover, of course, there is a chance of unforeseen obstacles in the afterlife.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
He knows that nobody knows what dream may come in sleep. We cannot escape from there.
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Right now, he is suffering because his body is heir to problems.
Must give us pause: there is the respect
He gives a second thought to his plan that he must stop there. He gives examples of the people why they are bearing pains in their daily lives.
That makes calamity of so long life;
Though living a life cause troubles but they are still not killing themselves.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
They tolerate the whips and scorns of time. They continue their lives after all.
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
A person bears the wrong behavior done by kings and bosses. He bears the abuses he gets in his daily actions in family, in society, and in offices.
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
A lover lives a life with a broken heart; an innocent man lives his life even with the delay of law when he cannot get justice at the right time.
The insolence of office and the spurns
An employee tolerates the abuse at his office made by his bosses
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
A man lives his with patience and does actions, which have no importance in his life.
When he himself might his quietus, make
He argues in his mind if it is possible to get rid of the circumstance by killing self then why a person lives a painful life.
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
Why do they live a life it is because just they want to live?
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
Why a person lives a life, which is hard?
Rub an unforeseen obstacle
But that the dread of something after death,
Hamlet gets a solution here that there a fear of something after death which forces a person to live a life. Afterlife is an uncertainty nobody knows whether he can do something or not there.
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
Nobody knows what happens after death. the state after death resembles a country about which we know nothing.
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
It is an immortal universal fact that nobody returns after death. This thing stops him to take any action against life.
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
This is the only thought, which forbids a man to kill himself and rather bear the ills of life.
Than fly to others that we know not of?
He thinks is it right to get into unknown trouble to get rid of renowned problems?
Thus, conscience does make cowards of us all;
This thought makes us cowardly.
And thus the native hue of resolution
There we can see that Hamlet becomes resolute not to take his life.
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
His thoughts banish here.
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
Moreover, the step he was going to ahead by killing him in the heat of the moment rejects.
Turn awry: Turned or twisted toward one side