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To be or not to be

by Anonymouspoet

To be or not to be,

What a silly question,

If you have to ask,

Is it safe?

To be is no shame,

Not to be is to be afraid,

But ask,

Is no shame always the best option?

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299 Reviews

Points: 24185
Reviews: 299

Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:20 am
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TheSilverFox wrote a review...

Yo, anonymouspoet! Diatribes about Shakespeare, and the sarcasm that often comes with it, is honestly a fairly common topic. At least, as far I've seen from the countless students (myself included) who have had to read one or more of his works in their lifetime. Indeed, academic influence seems to be heavily focused on this playwright/poet and his accomplishments, so it is only inevitable that there be a large body of work interpreting his poems and plays in a multitude of different ways. In other words, I've seen a lot of works like this, and this falls flat. It's bland. I do not know any nicer way to put it, or perhaps I'd rather be blunt. The theme of this poem is jumbled and disorganized, and I don't have a clue what you're trying to tell me. On one hand, being afraid is clearly not the best option, but not having shame isn't either? So, what is the answer to your question, "Is it safe?" How do you define being safe, anyway? Safe from what? Life? Society? Other people? It seems like you're trying to forge a middle ground for yourself, but it fails to analyze either option and their benefits and disadvantages, and so your message runs into the ground and fails to operate effectively.

That itself comes back to the sheer shortness of the poem, which is only a few lines long. There is not nearly enough time to do anything more than a biting jab at the famous line of Shakespeare's, and it's not an effective one. It is enough to make a few passive remarks on society, but you exaggerate both "to be" and "not to be" by emphasizing only a couple of a massive number of quantities that themselves are the interpretations of heavily subjective opinions on life, based itself on a number of rudimentary expressions. Frankly, I'm not even sure what this has to do with the original soliloquy itself, which had to do with the unfairness of life, yet how it was likely the more positive choice. It seems like you decided to take a shot at Shakespeare by taking an oft-quoted line without context and describing it briefly, and I'm just not impressed.

So, I'm not normally this harsh as a reviewer, but I did not find many redeeming qualities of this piece. I personally am not the greatest fan of Shakespeare, but this retort seems brief and rather meaningless, especially in the wave of poetry and stories that serves the same purpose. If you want to refine this, work on the execution and expansion of your message. While I can't say that you haven't read the soliloquy, I'd advise taking a deeper look at it and its meanings, because I really don't think you applied the quote without understanding the context itself. In conclusion, this could be a fantastic work, but I just cannot find anything I can take from this poem as of yet.

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Its constructive criticism, and as a writer I have learned to differentiate flames and helpful reviews, and while it was an older poem of mine, I still respect it. And it didn't actually have much to do with the soliloquy it's self, just using the quote but I definitely see what you are talking about.

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176 Reviews

Points: 2933
Reviews: 176

Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:53 am
Sheyren wrote a review...

Hello! Sheyren here! Though I respect Shakespeare, I hate his works. Thus, I thoroughly enjoyed this poem. This is a short poem, so I don't have a lot to comment on. However, one or two things stuck out to me. The first is line one.

To be or not to be,

This is obviously the entire basis of your poem, and it also is a quote. So I think it should be exaggerated more. Perhaps write it as
"To be, or not to be?"

That way it really pops out at the reader

The other thing is more of a suggestion, though technically every comment is but a suggestion. Since you are poking fun at Shakespeare, maybe throw in some old English words like "tis" and "thy." Just basically because then you could make fun of it a bit more.

Other than that, I have no comments. Keep writing, because I would love to see more works from you!

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Thanks for the advice, Sheyren!

You can not put the entire Bee Movie in the quote generator.
— alliyah