To be or not to be, that is the question; 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. There's the respect. That makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time. Th'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 th'unworthy takes. When he himself might his quietus make, with a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life. But that the dread of something after death. The undiscovered country from whose bourn. No traveller returns, puzzles the will. And makes us rather bear those ills we have. Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all. And thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought. And enterprises of great pith and moment. With this regard their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action.

by William Shakespeare in Hamlet

莎士比亞的悲劇題材往往隱含著濃濃”原罪”的概念。生命的有限、包含著嫉妒、貪婪、虛榮、以及自私,註定人一生大半悲劇性的處境。現實的人生體驗總不斷地在證明人是一種有限的存在。但在戲劇中,莎士比亞在”註定悲劇結局”的故事基礎上,同時強調人性對於己身悲劇存在的抗爭過程並非毫無意義。這樣的概念,和屬靈的追求極其相似。人必須透過對人生悲劇處境的拒絕,而使得人性得以藉此過程超越和提昇。躊躇與己身正反矛盾的鬥爭雖然顯得人性的無助與可悲,但也因為生命悲劇的體驗,同時喚起人性對於屬靈的渴望。在信仰的角度上,信徒透過懺悔與救贖來承接神恩。但無論追求永生的超脫,或是接受原罪的綑綁。其共同的交會處依舊是自由意志的選擇。哈姆雷特自問的獨白清楚地描繪著人對己身生命與存在意義的質疑。死亡看似能夠簡單地清算人的一生。人性對於悲劇處境的拒絕,似乎才是使生命過程能夠有所不同之處。


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