Friday, 5 March 2010

A touch of the Bard

Was taking a break from the working day this morning, leaned on the rail to enjoy BC's bright silken morning air. I was moved to literary transport,and Hamlet's famous soliloquy rolled through my forebrain. With of course my own idiosyncratic commentary.

To be or not to be – that is the question:
Who and what is this shit?
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Is it better to roll over and take shit?
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them.
What am I going to do about all this shit?
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,
Th’ 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 th’ 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,
If I killed myself would all the shit go away?
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
But what if this shit is all there is?
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 thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.
If I do nothing, or say nothing, what kind of cowardly shit does that make me?

As acted by Ethan Hawke (What is all this shit and why do people rent it?):

And more traditionally by Kenneth Branagh (I can make all previous versions look like shit):

And Mel Gibson's performance (Despite objections in the comments, not shit at all):

Even Schwarzenegger has had a go (Taking no shit whatsoever):

No shit.

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