To be or not to be speech

What literary devices are used in "To be or not to be that is the question" from Hamlet? I have to analyze the speech and I would like to know if my interpretation is correct. Hamlet is talking to himself and he is debating whether he wants to live or not because Ophelia has died and he is depressed with the situations in his life. Would that be correct?

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asked by Kristy
  1. Almost.

    Ophelia has not yet died when this soliloquy is given. She is onstage, pretending to read a book after receiving instructions from her father about her behavior.

    Hamlet is definitely feeling "down" about the situations in his life, but up to this point, those situations center around his parents: his murdered father whose ghost demands revenge; and his mother who remarried too soon, in Hamlet's opinion, and to the murderer of his father, at that. (See the soliloquy in Act I, scene ii, ll. 129+)

    In the "To be or not to be" soliloquy, in addition to expressing his ongoing contemplation of suicide, he also relates his fear of the after-life if he were to commit suicide. (Act III, scene i, ll. 79-84). This is one of those elements in this play that reflects the beliefs of Christianity.

    Read more about this play here:

    (Broken Link Removed)


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