To be or not to be

One memorable moment that I found quite funny was in the film, "To Be or Not to Be." While there were several hilarious scenes, the title line that pops up frequently in the film got the greatest laugh out of me. The Shakespearian line, "to be, or not to be" isn't funny in and of itself. In fact, in the context of "Hamlet," it's part of quite a serious, agonizingly introspective monologue. What makes these words so funny is the context of the movie, and the way in which it is repeated throughout the film.
Thefirst time the audience hears the title line is when, in a slight act of marital indiscretion, the actress notifies the young suitor to visit her in her dressing room. To ensure her husband won't find out, the soldier must do so when her husband enters his "to be or not to be" monologue where he'll be occupied on the stage for quite some time. The soldier gets the message and stands up rudely during the beginning of the monologue, precisely after the words "or not to be" are uttered.
Taken aback, the actor is beside himself that someone would lose interest in his acting ability and walk out during one of his big scenes. What makes this truly funny is that he is portrayed as an egocentric stage actor who suddenly has his dignity deflated, saying rather melodramatically, "Oh, I knew this day would come." The fact that his wife has completely gotten away with seeing the young soldier adds to the comedic irony while the actor dwells at great length on the interruption and its implication of the future of his career.
The line gets funnier every time it is repeated throughout the film. Each time the soldier walks out of the performance, the actor's vain ego is placed deeper in jeopardy as he becomes visibly flustered on stage. In another scene where the actor is portraying the professor's Nazi superior, the professor relays to the actor tha…


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