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 heartache 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: 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 disprized 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 pith and moment With this regard their currents turn away, And lose the name of action. Soft you now, The fair Ophelia.— Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remembered. — William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Act 3, Scene 1.
Abbey, Edwin Austin. “The Play Scene in Hamlet.” 1897.
“Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
That he is mad, ‘tis true: ’tis true ’tis pity,
And pity it is true: a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant him, then, and now remains
That we find out the cause of this effect,
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defective comes by cause.
Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.”
— William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
“William Shakespeare (1564-1616), poet, dramatist, magister ludi of the English language.” — Lapham, Lewis H., editor. Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume 1.1.
Coriolanus (2011), directed by Ralph Fiennes, is a satisfactory film. Excellent acting, sophisticated frame compositions, and decent cinematography. It’s an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy by that same name, however, the film is set in a contemporary world. The setting helps the viewers to better relate to the story in the light of our own politics and wars.
The story points out human folly, which for some reason reminds me of the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky, “Am I so stupid that, if others are stupid and I know for certain they’re stupid, I myself don’t want to be smarter?” Yes, unfortunately we rarely do want to learn and thus be smarter. To learn from history and humanities. And so it still remains that all of us are often manipulated by selfish governing, and we don’t even realize it.
“So as Coriolanus talks his way toward the customary end of all tragic heroes, we find ourselves longing for a better one. Someone who fights for us with superhuman power, yet sympathizes with our weakness. Someone who suffers outside the city gate, yet identifies with all those inside it. Someone who remains silent before his unjust accusers, and bears the blame that is rightfully ours. One, in short, whose love for us is unfeigned.” — Barry Cooper, “Coriolanus Untamed.” The Gospel Coalition.