Existentialism In Shakespeare's To Be Or Not To Be?

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Introduction “To be or not to be?” this famous quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet gives us an insight to what existentialism actually is. Since, it too focuses on the doubts and uncertainty about human existence. However, it is difficult to define due to the contradictory ideas given by its pioneers. Due to which no proper definition has been formed. Despite disagreements they all agreed that this movement focused on the primary question. Why do we exist? What is the purpose of life? Thus, it can be said as a philosophy that deals with life’s unanswered questions. It emphasizes the importance of man as an individual being who has to rely solely on himself to survive in this vast world. He does this by self-reflection. This great insight of oneself leads to self-discovery. Furthermore, this helps him steer his desires and choices towards a certain direction. In brief, it is a philosophy of life that; taught man to question his existence and spoke of free will that controlled his life choices. Background This philosophy emerged in the late 19th century to mid-20th century with World War II as its backdrop. Later the war’s horrific consequences lead people to question the existence of God. Those in doubt then started pondering over the meaning of life if there was no divine force ruling over. Man felt alienated in the after effects of the war. They had lost faith in both religious and social systems. The oppressive and tragic scenario of war had scarred them. The only way to

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