A to Z Challenge 2013 – H is for…

No. Not the Harlem Shake.

I only slipped that in yesterday to prove a point. Technology like Google makes the world do crazy things, but we do it together. So, yay for global insanity.

Today we honor

~ HAMLET ~

Despite the tremendous impact of a certain boy wizard on the literary world, I must say this other titular character holds a special place in my heart. Of the bard’s works, Hamlet is my favorite, Macbeth coming in at a close second. So much characterization, conflict, inner and outer turmoil, and that’s just the eponymous character himself. Outlandish plots that appear ripped straight from the Bible itself, we have brother pitted against brother, a person drunk with power, war, deceit, the gamut.

Although much of the work is subject for discussion–which was the case back in my high school English class–I have a few of my favorite lines that, while, subject to one’s own interpretation, serve me well as a writer and as a person.

 

“This above all: To thine own self be true.

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Act I, Sc. III)

“Though this be madness, there is method in ‘t.” (Act II, Sc. II)

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Act II, Sc. II)

“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty!

in form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel!

in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! (Act II, Sc. II)

 

Just a handful of wisdom here and a commentary on the human condition. But the best, I think, was when Hamlet bore his soul:

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 pith 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. (Act III, Sc. I)

So very good, was he, the man, the character, the bard. Have you any affection for this literary great?

=8=

Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter

a-to-z-letters-h

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2 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge 2013 – H is for…

  1. Personally, I have never read the play but so many of the lines are so infamous that I recognized as I was reading them. There is a reason Shakespeare has gone down in history as one of the great playwrights.

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