Because there’s no end to anything.

Because there’s no end to the Bard’s passages that have been badly modernised, just as there’s no end to anything else in the world – not war, not peace, not famine, not fatness, not disease, not health, not communism, not capitalism, not love, not power, not fads, not classics, not women, not men, not introverts, not extroverts, not talkers, not doers, not elites, not scum, not villains, not heroes, not droughts, not floods, not young, not old, not black, not white, not talking, not listening, not earth, not sky, not life, not death, not anything – that we know of. So on it turns…

And so it is that we have Shakespeare’s most famous turn herebelow, to which I humbly add my own in the footnotes :

Hamlet : To be, or not to be : that is the question :i
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?ii To die : to sleep ;
No moreiii ; 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 wish’d.iv To die, to sleep;
To sleep : perchance to dreamv : ay, there’s the rub ;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,vi
Must give us pause : there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life ;vii
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 ?viii who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns,ix puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of ?x
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ;xi
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,xii
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.xiii –Soft you now !
The fair Ophelia !xiv Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d.xv

Feel free to take your own turn in the comments.
___ ___ ___

  1. Do we do or do we die ? For this is what separates organic from inorganic. To play it safe or to take a risk, that is the question that we must constantly answer.
  2. The determining factor in our answer to the aforementioned question is whether we wager against Fortune’s loaded dice that the higher moral calling is benign Stoicism in the face of untold adversity, or whether it’s violent resistance against those said same forces, with the risk that the latter course might burn down the world we know and love.
  3. For what is death but a sleep from which there is no awakening ? Throughout our lives we enjoy many places of rest, but none is yet our final resting place. Until it is.
  4. The physical and emotional rollercoaster of life comes to end only in death. There is no stability until then ; yet how we long for that eternal quiety, that rounding of the circle of life,* while at the same time being necessarily defined by the hardships we overcome in our lives.

    ___ ___

    *Speaking of which, did you know that The Lion King was based on Hamlet ?

  5. We dream in sleep, but do we dream in death ? It depends how far we extend the metaphor, and how similar can they be if they don’t share dreaming in common ?
  6. It’s impossible to know what dreams we may dream after our bodies have died. How can we know if our minds dream on after their time on terra firma ? It’s a one-way information superhighway and the living are not on the receiving end.
  7. The fear of finding out the answer to this question – whether death is but eternal slumber – is what makes old age all the more tragic to experience first-hand. Those who die young rarely have the maturity nor mental Lebensraum to consider such existential questions before their numbers are called. Whereas the elderly have nothing but time for such painful considerations.
  8. Why anyone suffer the daily pains of existence : the master’s scorn, the proud man’s contempt, the heartbreak of failed romance, the ineptitude of the justice system, the idiots in public office, and the sorry abuse that betters take from their lessers… when you could just commit seppuku.
  9. Who would bear the burden of this toilsome existence were it not for fear of what lays (or doesn’t lay) beyond the precipitous event horizon between this life and the next ?
  10. So afraid of the Devil we don’t know that we’ll gladly burn in Hell with the Devil we do.
  11. It’s this knowledge of our finite temporality – what separates man from beast – that enfeebles us, however temporarily.
  12. And so it is that our carnal desires and animalistic drives are tempered by our reflective capacities.
  13. Making our vigorous pursuits and virile passions suddenly soft with inquisition.
  14. Speaking of soft, the lovely Ophelia is here !
  15. Beauty before me, in your prayers, beg forgiveness for what I’ve done… and what I’m about to do, for do I must. Be I must.

4 thoughts on “Because there’s no end to anything.

  1. […] to separate the fools from their cash by trading with them a dazzling array of shiny objects. There is no end. […]

  2. […] with the same basic story told over and over again, but lest we forget that there’s a reason Shakespeare is still performed and there’s a reason that Churches fill up this time of year more than any […]

  3. […] any event, it’s really no worse than your average forum posting in 2019. Just not quite at Shakespeare just yet. Or even Ye. ___ ___ […]

  4. […] skin wears masks of youth Healthspans hot for so long life No thrift of powdered heavens Narrow passages ‘tween […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *