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Thread: olde English

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    olde English

    Could someone help me here? This is an excerpt of am old corrupted copy of Shakepeare's Hamlet that I have to translate.
    What would be the meaning of the seconda all.?

    To be, or not to be, I there's the point,
    To Die, to sleepe, is that all? I all.:
    No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes,

    Thanks for replys.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: olde English

    What's the point of this exercise? The text is grossly corrupt. You can't translate something that was meaningless in the first place.

    For what it's worth, both the Is 'should' (?) probably be 'aye'* - an old particle that meant, roughly, 'yes'. So that the second line would be 'To die, to sleep, is that all - really all?' And 'mary' should be 'marry' - an extinct reinforcer that meant roughly 'indeed'.

    PS *The published version is 'To die, to asleep, perchance to dream. Aye, there's the rub.'

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