My teacher told me to write a 2 page essay about a quote. I have a general idea of what it means.In Hamlet act 1 scene 5 lines 166-167 Hamlet says to Horatio "There are more things to...

My teacher told me to write a 2 page essay about a quote. I have a general idea of what it means.

In Hamlet act 1 scene 5 lines 166-167 Hamlet says to Horatio "There are more things to heaven and earth Horatio,/ Than are dreamt of in our philosophy" What does Hamlet mean by that? is he calling Horatio close minded?

Asked on by a-willis

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I don't think Hamlet is necessarily calling Horatio closed-minded. He's sort of agreeing with Horatio that it is indeed strange to be talking to a ghost. As they have both been educated to be somewhat rational, Hamlet is noting that while this event is strange, clearly life is more complicated and spiritually integrated than they may have previously believed.

There is also the point that Hamlet is saying something to the effect of "you don't know the half of it." Hamlet has already begun to unravel Claudius' scheme in his mind and Hamlet has implicated his mother in this scheme as he begins to conceive of the whole thing as a vast conspiracy. This follows the "frailty thy name is woman" speech.

So, Hamlet is doing three things: 1) saying, yes, speaking to a ghost is unprecedented and bizarre, 2) adding that the episode with the ghost is part of an even larger conspiracy with Claudius and Gertrude and 3) that Horatio probably cannot 'dream' of the scheme that Hamlet is developing in his mind. This begins Hamlets' plot of revenge. He even notes that they should ignore his behaviors as they are all part of his plot of revenge. This foreshadows the "method to his madness" line.

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