I enjoyed it, HOWEVER...
If I had all the time in the world (which I don't) I would show it to my class as an example of how not to do literary allusions. It was a classic example of quoting Shakespeare for the sake of quoting Shakespeare in my humble opinion. In Chang's case it might have been okay (I guess it was just his character? But while I loved Khan channeling Ahab "FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE! FOR HATE'S SAKE WITH MY LAST BREATH I CURSE THEE" (or something like that...I'm going to reread Moby Dick in about 30 minutes, so I'm not checking myself right now) because Khan WAS a Milton's Satan/Captain Ahab figure, I really don't see what incessantly quoting bits of Shakespeare had to do with Chang.). However, I thought the allusion of the title was AWFUL!
Kirk says "General what's-his-face called the future "the undiscovered country."
Okay. Quick Hamlet lesson, folks:
To be or not to be, that is the question
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
or to take arms against a sea of troubles.
etc. again... not looking it up and that's as far as I can remember at the moment
But here we have Hamlet deciding whether or not he should kill himself. Should a person just take the troubles that come or (to quote Blackadder) "just top himself".
Hamlet does not kill himself if Act I. Why is this? We must go on farther in the speech.
To die to sleep, perchance to dream
Aye, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death
what dreams may come must give the something or other pause
For who would fardles bear...blah blah proud man's contumely, etc.
when he could his quietus make on a bare bodkin
But for that:
(here we come to the important bit for my discussion)
THE FEAR OF SOMETHING AFTER DEATH
THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY FROM WHOSE
NO TRAVELER RETURNS MUST GIVE US PAUSE.
So ignoring the fact that I just massacred Hamlet's most famous speech, we see the point. The "undiscovered country" is DEATH. And it is the thing that makes us all scared, not a hopeful future!
But then, that's the point of the movie, isn't it. That they're all scared of the future, because they don't know what it is, and they have to accept it just like Hamlet does in his "There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow" speech.
I just talked myself into appreciating the allusion. Oh my.
Well, I should do silly stuff like this more often. It obviously helps me think stuff through.
I also need to add some words to my vocabulary so that I don't say "stuff" so often.
I still object to General Chang, though. Give me Khan any day.
(One of these days I should actually apply myself to memorize that speech. I think I know almost all the words, but not in order... It wouldn't take too long, right?)