To be or not to be: How to play Hamlet's famous lines

Help

John Simm will be the latest big-name actor to give his version of Hamlet when the play opens at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre this week.

It's a role he has described as "the greatest ever written", and will see him follow in the footsteps of actors from Laurence Olivier to David Tennant.

Of course every actor playing Shakespeare's Prince must grapple with the same question - to be or not to be? Over the years those lines - perhaps the most famous in world theatre - have been interpreted in a number of ways.

The actor Samuel West played Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2001 to great acclaim, and has also directed a version of the play.

Here he offers four possible versions of the 'To be or not to be' soliloquy.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.