mercredi 28 janvier 2015

Etre ou ne pas Etre - To Be or not to Be

Dans ce monologue, Hamlet délibère pour savoir si la vie vaut la peine d'être vécue. Il ne sait s'il doit croire les propos du fantôme, et hésite à agir et à venger son père (si c'est bien lui). Cette hésitation à agir s'élargit à la question de vivre: cela vaut-il la peine? Ne vaut-il pas mieux mourir, ne pas être? Mais un élément nouveau intervient dans sa délibération: peut-être l'homme n'a-t-il pas le choix entre être et ne pas être, vivre et mourir, mais entre être (sur terre) et être (après la mort, devant le jugement de Dieu). Dans ce cas, en mettant un terme à sa vie, l'homme risque de rater son but, ne pas être, et de se retrouver dans l'Au-Delà, face à un juge terrible, qui est justement l'Etre Suprême. Dans ce cas, dit-il, il vaut encore mieux rester vivant sur terre, de peur de souffrir encore davantage dans l'Au-Delà.

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 these 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. Nymph, in all thy Orisons
Be thou all my sins remembered.[4]

First Quarto (1603)

The first edition of Hamlet in print was the 1603 "First Quarto" which some have argued represents a bad quarto (essentially, a theatrical knock-off) rather than a first draft or touring copy of Shakespeare's script. This has a shorter version of the speech. For ease of comparison the spelling here is updated as above.
To be, or not to be, aye there's the point,
To Die, to sleep, is that all? Aye all:
No, to sleep, to dream, aye marry there it goes,
For in that dream of death, when we awake,
And borne before an everlasting Judge,
From whence no passenger ever returned,
The undiscovered country, at whose sight
The happy smile, and the accursed damn'd.
But for this, the joyful hope of this,
Who'd bear the scorns and flattery of the world,
Scorned by the right rich, the rich cursed of the poor?
The widow being oppressed, the orphan wrong'd,
The taste of hunger, or a tyrants reign,
And thousand more calamities besides,
To grunt and sweat under this weary life,
When that he may his full Quietus make,
With a bare bodkin, who would this endure,
But for a hope of something after death?
Which puzzles the brain, and doth confound the sense,
Which makes us rather bear those evils we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Aye that, O this conscience makes cowards of us all,
Lady in thy orizons, be all my sins remembered.[5][6]

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