memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

The beauty of English

I have just been watching Kenneth Branagh’s majestic version of Hamlet and marvel once again at the beauty of our language.

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? To die: to sleep;

No more; 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. 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:


Comments on: "The beauty of English" (6)

  1. I am truly convinced that Willy Shakespeare could never have written such awesome verse…….he simply did not have the background…he was a mere actor?


  2. Perhaps, James, but the words are still there, are they not, whoever wrote them?


  3. I suppose we appreciate the beauty of English because we don’t know French or Romanian…but still, that is a lovely verse. I’m an appreciator of meanings rather than words, myself, it’s a handicap.


  4. “And the fhousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” – that rings a loud bell.

    This is a great piece with depth of meaning, and yes, who actually cares who wrote it? Its great


  5. That was a good version. Mad Max did one too – it wasn’t bad, if I remember rightly, it had Glenn Close in it, who was quite good as a queen of a certain age. I wish I could get Ms M to enjoy Shakespeare!


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