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Hamlet: A Research Guide: "To be or not to be..."

Learn about the "melancholy dane" and the play named after him

to Be

Many takes on "To be or not to be..."

This speech from Hamlet is probably the most well known passage from any play ever written. On this page we have collected videos of major actors delivering these famous lines.

Laurence Olivier (1948)


Mel Gibson (1990)


Ethan Hawke (2000)


Lindsay Grimes (2011)


Benedict Cumberbatch (2015)

Richard Burton (1964)


Kenneth Branagh (1996)


David Tennant (2008)


Maxine Peake (2014)


Adrian Lester (2016)