To Be or Not to Be by Douglas BrusterTo Be or Not to Be by Douglas Bruster

To Be or Not to Be

byDouglas Bruster

Hardcover | March 23, 2007

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Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy is quoted more often than any other passage in Shakespeare.¿ It is arguably the most famous speech in the Western world - though few of us can remember much about it. This book carefully unpacks the individual words, phrases and sentences of Hamlet's soliloquy in order to reveal how and why it has achieved its remarkable hold on our culture. Hamlet's speech asks us to ask some of the most serious questions there are regarding knowledge and existence. In it, Shakespeare also expands the limits of the English language. Douglas Bruster therefore reads Hamlet's famous speech in "slow motion" to highlight its material, philosophical and cultural meaning and its resonance for generations of actors, playgoers and readers.

Title:To Be or Not to BeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:128 pages, 8 × 5 × 1 inPublished:March 23, 2007Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0826489974

ISBN - 13:9780826489975


Table of Contents

General Editors' Preface
1.¿In the Shakespeare Museum¿
2. What are the Questions?
3. There's the¿Rub
4. How Does it Mean? (The Speech as Poem)
5. The Name of Action (The Speech in Context)
6. Not One Speech but Three, or 'There's the Point'
7. Consummation (Some Conclusions)
8.¿ Acknowledgments and Further Reading

Editorial Reviews

"Douglas Bruster's To Be or Not to Be should delight and instruct anyone who has ever read, seen, or struggled with the central speech of Hamlet...Bruster has done a remarkable job building bridges over notoriously choppy waters, and this book is highly recommended." - Peter G. Platt, Studies in English Literature, Spring 2008