Hamlet Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) according to the Norton edition
Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special
providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,
'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
readiness is all: since no man has aught of what he
leaves, what is't to leave betimes?
When BFF Horatio warns Hamlet that he'll lose the duel with Laertes, he reveals that he's decided to give in to God's "providence," i.e. fate. The reference to the "fall of the sparrow" is from Matthew 10.29 —"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father" —which is taken to mean that God oversees the life and death of every single creature, even the sparrow. Was Hamlet's delay just a way of resisting fate all along?