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Word Count: 1,701
The following piece of English literary is taken from one of Shakespeares plays Hamlet and is one of his most famous soliloquies The first half of the speech in bold is the original text taken from the first folio in 1623 and the second half is The Arden Shakespeare complete works revised edition published in 2001 The contrasts in the two not only help to magnify the differences between the language and how it has evolved but also show the differences in spelling which pose problems for the modern reader Hamlet To be or not to be that is the question1 Whether tis nobler in the minde to fuffer The flings and arrowes of outragious fortune Or to take armes againft a fea of troubles And by oppofing end them To die to fleepe No more and by a fleepe to fay we end The hart-ake and the thoufand naturall fhocks That flefh is heire to tis a confummation Deuoutly to be wifht to die to fleepe To fleepe perchance to dreame I theres the rub 10 For in that fleepe of death what dreames may come When we haue fhuffled off this mortall coyle Muft giue vs paufe theres the respect That makes calamity of fo long life For who would beare the whips and fcornes of time Thoppressors wrong the proud mans contumely The pangs of disprizd love the laws delay The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of thunworthy takes When he himself might his quietus make20 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 undiscoverd 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 not of Thus conscience does make cowards of us all And thus the native hue of resolution
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