Hamlet's soul is weighed down by the moral dilemma of choosing between living and dying.He oscillates between being reckless and cautious with his conscience, the afterlife, and religion, to rationalize the thoughts in his mind in this epic soliloquy.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 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?
/ Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd / His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! He questions the macrocosm of his death and thinks for a moment that it may be like eternal rest, which first seems to be acceptable until he reflects on what will happen to him when he enters into deep sleep.
Just when his "sleep" suffice begins to charm him, he stops short and marvels on, "To sleep: perchance to dream:-ay there's the rub; / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come" (III.i.68-69).
The above soliloquy classically depicts the eternal struggle between choosing life or death, Shakespeare scripts this epic speech as an afterthought about his own reflections on the existence of death and afterlife.
He enumerates some of the negative aspects of human existence in this soliloquy, we have all personally experienced "the proud man's revilement," "the stabs of scorned love," and "the impudence of office".
Hamlet's behavior has turned erratic over the sudden turn of events in his family, so much so that he scorns his beloved Ophelia.
He is torn between the responsibilities and the need to get affection from the people he loves, but at the same time, a deep anger seethes inside him to take revenge.
These essay's inspired many passages in Hamlet including the famous soliloquy 'To Be or Not To Be'.
A soliloquy is defined as 'The act or custom of displaying one's innermost thoughts in solitude.' Perhaps the most famous speech in English literature which is majorly governed by rationality and not frenetic emotion appears in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, written in 1602.
If you get the judgment call wrong, there's no way back.
The whole speech is tinged with the Christian prohibition of suicide, although it isn't mentioned explicitly.