Subjunctives: The Hamlet Paradox #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Writers often find the words and rules we use to describe existence convoluted and hard to understand.

The subjunctive (in the English language) is used to form sentences that do not describe known objective facts.

In other words, subjunctives describe unknown intangible possibilities.

William Shakespeare said it best in his tragedy, Hamlet: “To be or not to be… that is the question.”

Should he exist, or should he not exist—for the deeply depressed Dane, suicide or not suicide is the question. In his soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide. He regrets the pain and unfairness of life but ultimately acknowledges that the alternative might be worse.

Be–a simple word, a verb that is a subjunctive. But sometimes the many forms of this word are overused in the narrative. The whole subjunctive thing looks quite complicated on the surface, but it doesn’t have to be. As…

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2 comments

  1. conniejjasperson · February 9

    ❤ Thank you for the reblog 😀

    Like

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