In Hamlet, why is Horatio unable to believe in ghosts?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As for the reason why Horatio is unable to believe in ghosts, that's a bit overstated. He doesn't say he does not believe. He says, "O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!"


That means he's sort of stuck at the stage when he says, "Wow, what was that!" He might disbelieve, though, and if he does, Hamlet's comments that follow tell us he does so because of his "philosophy": he's been trained in rational/logical thought, and this would lead him to reject the idea of ghosts.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial