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What is Hamlet trying to say when he says, "There is a special providence in the...

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ldgfaf | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 5, 2008 at 7:53 AM via web

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What is Hamlet trying to say when he says, "There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow"?

I want to know what is Hamlet trying to say when he speaks these words.

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted January 5, 2008 at 8:15 AM (Answer #1)

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Hamlet explains to Horatio the reason he is willing to engage in the fencing match with Laertes. Earlier Hamlet has said, "We defy augury," indicating that omens or even hints that this match may not be a good idea mean nothing to him. Some force larger than man ("Providence") controls what will happen. He also alludes to a Bible verse in Matthew that declares God controls the lives of all, even the life of a sparrow. Therefore, Hamlet reveals his belief that his future is beyond his control, yet he is willing to go forward. See the link below for further explanation.

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