To be, or not to be (“ To be or not to be, that’s the question ... ”) is the name of the famous monologue (more precisely, the soliloquia ) of Act III of Scene I of the play “ Hamlet ” by William Shakespeare (written around 1600 ) .
In popular visualization, the pronunciation of the polylogue is accompanied by the figure of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark , thoughtfully holding Yorick's skull ( Yorick , “Poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio ...” ), although this happens in a completely different part of the play.
It is also important to note that Hamlet is not alone on the stage at the time of pronouncing his monologue (this is standard for polylogue) - also on the stage are Ophelia , Polonius and the King (different directors only deploy Hamlet in different ways - either he looks at Ophelia or the King and Polonium).
- The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer spoke of this monologue in such a way: “Our condition is so sad that he certainly should prefer complete non-existence. If suicide really promised us and we had, in the full sense of the word, the alternative of “to be or not to be”, then we should definitely prefer it as a highly desirable conclusion ”(73. P. 424). “But people,” writes Schopenhauer, “tend to not associate death with absolute annihilation; there was not a single person who would not want to live to tomorrow. " (426) 
- Regardless of whether the monologue’s interpretation focuses on “ life is death ” or “action-inaction”, the themes raised in the solilogue (and in general throughout Shakespeare's play) are often used to compare the Prince of Denmark with the existentialists of the 20th century.
- It is often believed that the writing of this monologue (solilogue) of Shakespeare was inspired by his contemporary (more precisely, his predecessor) - playwright Christopher Marlowe , partially paraphrasing the line from his last play - “Edward II” ( Farewell, ... and, as a traveler, / Goes to discover countries yet unknown. , cf. with a monologue translated by M. Lozinsky - “The unknown land, where there is no return”)
In Shakespeare's first quarto , a monologue is given in the following form:
- The phrase is often played out in various comic options. For example: two beer or not two beer (“two beers or not two beers”), to beer or not to beer (“drink beer or not drink”). Also popular is the option to beer or not to be ("drink beer or not be"). Here the hangover syndrome is played out.
In Spike Milligan's comic poem, pencil marking 2B (“very soft”) is played out: “Said Hamlet to Ophelia: I'll draw a sketch of thee; What kind of pencil shall I use - 2B or not 2B? ” 
In the Russian version, you can meet “beat or not beat” and “drink or not drink”. This last phrase (along with “to be or not to be”), for example, is found in “The Drunkard’s Song” (Spanish: Anatoly Dneprov ): “You can ask me,“ When will you stop drinking? ”But I’m not Hamlet to decide - I drink or not drink. I’m not a drunkard, but my heart is beating. Yes, what is there to be or not to be, my question is simpler - how do we go on living? ”  The wording “beat or not beat” is found, in particular, in one of Arkady Raikin ’s monologues. 
One of the categories of questions in the quiz “ Own game ” is called “Everyday life or not”.
In addition, there is an expression from the algebra of logic that is pronounced in English very similar to the original Shakespeare - 2b 2b = ?. The “ Two be or not to be” option is also common.
- “To be or not to be?” Is the name of a humorous program (1975)  Central Committee of the USSR. Two fictitious theaters competed in the program - classical (“Kozma Prutkov Theater”) and avant-garde (“Blue Calf Theater”).
- So the 2nd Quarto; the Folio has 'pith', which is a possible reading (Edwards, p. 159, note to line 86)
- Edwards, 3.1.56–88.
- Cited from: Andreeva I.S., Gulyga A.V. Schopenhauer (inaccessible link) . - M .: "The Young Guard" 2003. - 368 p. silt
- Hamlet by Spike Milligan . Hello Poetry. Date of treatment March 31, 2019.
- Anatoly Dneprov - Song of a drunkard lyrics, lyrics . teksty-pesenok.ru. Date of treatment March 31, 2019.
- deeppurpleos. Deep Purple - Child In Time - 1970 (May 25, 2010). Date of treatment March 31, 2019.
- Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. - Philip Edwards, ed., Updated edition 2003. (New Cambridge Shakespeare).
- Hamlet. - Harold Jenkins, ed., 1982. (The Arden Shakespeare).
- Lewis CS Studies in Words. - Cambridge University Press , 1960 (reprinted 2002).
- Arthur Schopenhauer. The World as Will and Representation, Volume I. - EFJ Payne, tr. Falcon Wing's Press, 1958. - Reprinted by Dover, 1969.
- Jasper Fforde. Something Rotten. - 2004.
- The monologue “To be or not to be” in Russian translations of the 19th — 20th centuries.
- The monologue “To be or not to be” in Russian translations of the 19th — 21st centuries
- William Shakespeare. Hamlet’s monologue “To be or not to be ...” in the original and Russian translations of the 19th-20th centuries in the Maxim Moshkov Library (translations of M. Vronchenko , M. Zagulyaev , N. Ketcher , N. Maklakov , A. Sokolovsky, A. Moskovsky, K. R. , P. Gnedich , P. Kanshin , D. Averkiev , N. Rossov , M. Morozov, V. Nabokov , M. Lozinsky , B. Pasternak , S. S. Bogorado)