To Be Or Not To Be


The "To be or not to be" monologue from Shakespeare's Hamlet as if written by Terry Pratchett.

To be or not to be—that is the question—although not a very interesting one, thought Rincewind, who had himself faced that very question quite often yet never spent more than the time it took him to open his mouth and scream to contemplate it. Is it nobler to suffer the slings, arrows, rocks, teeth, swords, knives, pointy sticks, long drops, shorter but still rather perilous drops, and more teeth* that fate flings our way or to hold our fists up to the gaping maw of the universe in the hope that we may inadvertently find a groin to punch? We can die, which, it turns out, is quite easy, but what may follow is a mystery. And perhaps not even a good mystery that can be solved simply by flipping to the end--rather, a mystery with horrors more horrific than all but the most seasoned veterans of life can conceive.

Rincewind paused, mid-step, surveying Ankh-Morpork. Perhaps it was a more interesting question than he first thought. He considered the time he had spent in the city—the food, the drink, the men, the women, the adventures—and promptly stepped off the cliff, the Luggage not far behind.

Anything has got to be better this, he thought, as he plummeted to the canyon floor.

* To those unaware, the universe's penchant for creating new and ever more elaborate ways to kill us is one of its defining features. It's like a Rube Goldberg machine of death.