Help with a line : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

what does the line "There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow" mean?

-- Nicole Y (, January 03, 2001


This is a reference to a biblical passage where the general idea is that God's benevolent guidance is present in every part of nature. Even the death of something as insignificant as a sparrow is seen by God and valued. Hamlet has just accepted his fate and decided that events must take their natural course. God will see and judge all. Another reason that Hamlet is considered a "Christian prince".

-- Mikken (, January 11, 2001.

Mikken is right. The reference is Matthew 10:28ff: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy bothsoul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing [ie. very little]? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without you Father. But the very hairs on your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

(This demonstrates that Hamlet has not discarded his humanist ideas of the dignity and will of man. But he has tempered them with an acceptance of a greater benevolent and planning

-- catherine england (, October 01, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ