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On-line version ISSN 2411-7870
Print version ISSN 1021-545X


PUGSLEY, David. To be or not to be of good fame, that is the question. Fundamina (Pretoria) [online]. 2016, vol.22, n.2, pp.290-296. ISSN 2411-7870.

Duels are a breach of the peace, punished for centuries under the Justices of the Peace Act, 1361, which however may or may not contain the word not. This may be the background to Hamlet's soliloquy, To be or not to be, which is not a suicide speech: Hamlet knew that self-slaughter was forbidden, and none of the three actors listening to him, Ophelia, Claudius and Polonius, interpreted it as a suicide speech.

Keywords : Duels; Breach of the Peace; Justices of the Peace Act; 1361; to be or not to be.

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