'There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth': Meaning (2023)

In Act 1 Scene 5 of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Hamlet says to his friend:

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Hamlet has been told by the night watch that the ghost of his father has appeared to them. Hamlet and his friend, Horatio go up to the battlements and the ghost appears. Horatio is a practical, down to earth scholar and he is stunned by this – he doesn’t believe in ghosts. He says: “O day and night, but this is wondrous strange.” Hamlet replies: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” He is suggesting that the human imagination is limited and that there are many things we don’t know, things that haven’t been discovered and, in fact, things we haven’t even dreamt of.

'There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth': Meaning (1)

“There are more things in heaven and earth”, Hamlet quote

Meaning of “There are more things in Heaven and Earth”

It is here that we see Shakespeare for what he is. Besides being the greatest poet who ever wrote English poetry and the most brilliant writer of stage entertainment, he also had insights far beyond those of his contemporaries: he understood that the knowledge about the world that scientists and explorers had discovered, was only the beginning of what there is that we don’t yet know about, of what is still waiting for us to discover, and that, in fact, taking into account the work being done by astronomers, a lot more beyond the earth too. He was very aware of the limitations of the human imagination and, in fact, he was right and we are still being stunned by new discoveries, both about our planet and the universe.

The discovery of what there is in Heaven and Earth

Shakespeare’s contemporary, Galileo Galilei, pioneered the use of the telescope for observing the night sky. He discovered that the earth was not at the centre of a perfect and unchanging cosmos, and that, in reality, the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of the other way round, and that it was its spinning that produced night and day. He was persecuted by the Church for his undermining of the traditional idea of how God had created the universe. Human beings had not imagined such a thing before that.

Shakespeare’s contemporaries believed that human beings had been created fully formed by God in a paradisiacal garden. Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species outlined in detail, the evolution of human beings, from a single cell entity over billions of years, to what they are now, and still evolving, to a condition in the future, which, again, is beyond our imaginations. He also showed that we are actually apes, and are closely related to the likes of chimpanzees and gorillas, having a common ancestor.

Science and religion

Scientific discoveries have put science at odds with religion. Scientists are usually agnostic concerning the existence of God, whereas religious men and women insist on His existence. The difference is that religion is based on faith – the belief in God, rather than knowing that He exists, although they will say that they know He does. Scientists say that we don’t know and it is only when he has been scientifically verified – when we have discovered Him – that we will be able to say that we know.

When Shakespeare puts “There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy” into the mouth of one of his characters he is demonstrating what the scientists of our time now know. He is showing how different his thinking is from most of the people of his time, who believed what the Church insisted on: that it had everything worked out for all time.

Other wise Shakespearean sayings

Shakespeare demonstrates his timeless, universal, understanding over and over again in the profound things he puts into the mouths of his characters. Such as:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 3

(Video) Unit -1 there are more things in the heaven and Earth

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin

Troilus and Cressida, Act 3, Scene 3

The common curse of mankind – folly and ignorance.

Troilus and Cressida, Act 2, Scene 3

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 1

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.

Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them

Twelfth Night, Act 2, Scene 2

There is no darkness but ignorance

Twelfth Night, Act 4, Scene 2

We know what we are, but know not what we may be

(Video) There are more things in heaven, & Earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy & science.- Horatio

Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5

5 replies

  1. 'There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth': Meaning (2)

    Garrick Little says:

    October 5, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    You paint the church and Christianity with a broad brush. Individuals representing the institutional church interpreted without justification what they thought the Bible claimed. There was no scientific justification or scriptural justification for their opinion. You do a disservice to the cause of Truth to claim otherwise! The legacy of Darwin and the claim humans descended from chimps is an open question with little support from real science in my opinion as someone with an advanced degree, (PhD organic chemistry).


    • 'There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth': Meaning (3)

      (Video) Heaven and Earth

      Danielle says:

      October 29, 2022 at 5:05 pm

      It seems that this quote is more aptly interpreted as man’s folly in thinking that he can figure out God. It’s true that humans are discovering more about the universe, but we are mere infants thinking ourselves clever to pull a plum out of a pie.


    • 'There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth': Meaning (4)

      Anna says:

      December 6, 2022 at 8:47 pm

      Please read : “The Human Condition” solved…..written by Australian Biologist— evolution at its finest……..


    • 'There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth': Meaning (5)

      Henry says:

      January 9, 2023 at 11:00 am

      Of course the church “interpreted without justification what they thought the Bible claimed.” That’s not saying much. Anybody can interpret anything without justification if they so choose. The church has a habit of making claims about the Bible and “God” offering up any justification or especially evidence. But that’s fine. To each his own.

      But as far as “the legacy of Darwin”, scientists who study human evolution do not claim that humans descended from chimps. No “real” science makes that claim. While you may have a PhD degree in organic chemisry apparently it hasn’t helped you acquire this commonly known scientific evidence about evolution. The claim is (and it’s backed by OVERWHELMING “support from real science”) that apes and humans share a common ancestor. The fossil record and human and ape DNA research is the essence of this evidence. And of course it’s more complex than that. Anyone can easily find this information in many of the peer reviewed scientific journals available today.

      Darwin’s great insight, and the unifying principle of biology today, is that all species are related to one another like sisters, cousins, and distant kin in a vast family tree of life. The implications are breathtaking; if we could travel back far enough in time, we would find common ancestors between ourselves and every other living organism, from porcupines to flamingoes to cactuses. Our immediate evolutionary family is comprised of the hominoids, the group of primates that includes the “lesser apes” (siamangs and gibbons) as well as the “great apes” (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans). Among the great apes, our closest relatives are the chimpanzees and bonobos. And that “real science” that you talk about is the fossil record, along with studies of human and ape DNA, that clearly indicates humans shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos sometime around 6 million years ago (mya).



      (Video) Since heaven is perfect, why do we need the new heavens and new earth?
  2. 'There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth': Meaning (6)

    Anna says:

    December 6, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    I think the church tries desperately to explain the unexplainable- information written in the simplest of form so as to appeal to the masses and interpreted wherever the “person” might be….brings to mind the word tomato vs tomato….where the “a” is pronounced differently (long and short) yet meaning is the same—-mystery!!!


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(Video) Jeff High - More Things in Heaven and Earth


What is the answer to the question there are more things in heaven and earth? ›

What Is The Meaning Of There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth Horatio Than Are Dreamt Of In Your Philosophy? Answer: In this phrase Hamlet suggests that the human imagination is limited and that there are many things we don't know, things that haven't been discovered and, in fact, things we haven't even dreamt of.

What does there are more things in heaven and earth mean? ›

A phrase used by the title character in the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. Hamlet suggests that human knowledge is limited: There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy [science].

What are the three things in heaven and earth? ›

[7] For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. [8] And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

What is Horatio's famous line? ›

'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy'

What three things are necessary to get to heaven? ›

Our salvation in Christ involves three marvelous gifts—justification, sanctification, and glorification. Justification is the gift by which our sins are forgiven, sanctification is the gift by which we grow in the likeness of Christ, and glorification is the gift by which we enter into the everlasting joy of heaven.

What are the four things which are little on the earth but they are exceedingly wise? ›

“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags; locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; a lizard can be caught with the hand, ...

What does it mean in the Lord's Prayer on earth as it is in heaven? ›

It's about being reformed and transformed, whether we are seekers or mature disciples. Prayer is bending our wants to God's wants and living out those holy intentions so that they become as real on earth as they are in heaven.

What does the Bible mean by a new heaven and earth? ›

The Revelation concludes with a final vision of the marriage of heaven and earth where an angel shows John a stunning bride that symbolizes the new creation that has come forever to join God and his covenant people. God announces that He's come to live with humanity forever and that He's making all things new.

What Bible verse says as in heaven as is on earth? ›

Jesus said in Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV):“ 9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

What are the 3 levels of heaven? ›

According to this vision, all people will be resurrected and, at the Final Judgment, will be assigned to one of three degrees of glory, called the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms.

How many heavens did God create? ›

In religious or mythological cosmology, the seven heavens refer to seven levels or divisions of the Heavens. The concept, also found in the ancient Mesopotamian religions, can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; a similar concept is also found in some other religions such as Hinduism.

Does the Bible say there are 3 heavens? ›

In fact, Deuteronomy 10:14 refers to all three in one verse: “Behold, to the Lord your God belong Heaven (#2) and the Heaven of Heavens (#3), the earth and all that is in it (#1).”

What is Horatio's last words? ›

When Hamlet finally does die, Horatio is holding him, and gives him a farewell of infinite tenderness: 'Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, / And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest' (5.2. 397-98).

Why does Hamlet love Horatio? ›

Hamlet admires Horatio for the traits that he himself does not have and, as true friends do, he takes genuine delight in the sanity, the strength, and the constancy of Horatio's character.

Are more things in heaven and earth than can be dreamt of? ›

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” is an enigmatic quote that appears in the first Act of Hamlet. It is spoken by the title character: Hamlet.

What are the 5 keys to open heaven? ›

There are five specific keys for maintaining open heavens. They are a call to right motivations, prayer, devotion to God, purity of heart, and a passion for God's kingdom.

Can you go to heaven without dying? ›

Since death is the normal end to an individual's life on Earth and the beginning of afterlife, entering heaven without dying first is considered exceptional and usually a sign of a deity's special recognition of the individual's piety.

What is the sin that is unforgivable? ›

One eternal or unforgivable sin (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit), also known as the sin unto death, is specified in several passages of the Synoptic Gospels, including Mark 3:28–29, Matthew 12:31–32, and Luke 12:10, as well as other New Testament passages including Hebrews 6:4–6, Hebrews 10:26–31, and 1 John 5:16.

What are the 4 things that never are? ›

Proverbs 30:15-17 New International Version (NIV)

Give! ' they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, 'Enough! ': the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!

What are the 4 wise animals in the Bible? ›

Today, let's take these four humble creatures: the ants, the conies, the locusts and the spider and glean wisdom for life.

What are the 4 things in the Bible? ›

Proverbs 30:18-19 In-Context

18 There are four things that are too mysterious for me to understand: 19 an eagle flying in the sky, a snake moving on a rock, a ship finding its way over the sea, and a man and a woman falling in love.

What happens when we pray in heaven? ›

In heaven, he applies all that he accomplished on the cross to all who believe in him. And he does this by presenting you to the Father as his own! He brings you before the Father, and the Father sees you in him.

What happens to our prayers in heaven? ›

From the Scriptures, it is revealed in this book that your prayers are collected and processed on the golden altar before the throne of God. None of your prayer is lost, but banked in heaven until God decides when and how to release the answer to you.

What did Jesus mean by heaven? ›

It is primarily God's dwelling place in the biblical tradition: a parallel realm where everything operates according to God's will. Heaven is a place of peace, love, community, and worship, where God is surrounded by a heavenly court and other heavenly beings.

Will we know each other in heaven? ›

In fact, the Bible indicates we will know each other more fully than we do now. The Apostle Paul declared, "Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). It's true that our appearance will change, because God will give us new bodies, similar to Jesus' resurrection body.

How many people will be in heaven? ›

The Bible does not say in any part that it is only the 144,000 that will go to heaven. The revelation to John supports Matthew 8:11, which says that many will come from every corner of the earth to sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The number 144,000 that were sealed or chosen are not pre-chosen.

Is there marriage in heaven? ›

Many Christians rely on Matthew 22:30, in which Jesus tells a group of questioners, "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

What did Jesus say about heaven and earth? ›

Jesus taught his followers to pray: “Thy kingdom come on earth as in heaven.” From as early as the third century, some Christian teachers tried to blend this with types of the Platonic belief, generating the idea of “leaving earth and going to heaven,” which became mainstream by the Middle Ages.

What does it mean to experience heaven on earth? ›

: a very pleasant or enjoyable place or situation. We spent our vacation in a real heaven on earth.

What is loosed in heaven? ›

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

What is the highest level of heaven? ›

In traditions, each level of the eight principal gates of Paradise is described as generally being divided into a hundred degrees guarded by angels (in some traditions Ridwan). The highest level is known as firdaws (sometimes called Eden) or Illiyin.

Who went to the third heaven in the Bible? ›

2 Corinthians 12-13: Paul Is Caught Up into the Third Heaven.

What is above the 7 heavens? ›

The eighth heaven is found above the seven heavens. It is everything in one, the connection of light and love in one dynamic, unified entity.

How far away is heaven from Earth? ›

According to Dr. Mortimer, heaven lay within the sun as a vast globe, “at least 500,000 miles in diameter.”

How many hells are there? ›

The number and names of hells, as well as the type of sinners sent to a particular hell, varies from text to text; however, many scriptures describe 28 hells.

Where is the Third Heaven located? ›

In several Abrahamic religions, the Third Heaven is a division of Heaven in religious cosmology. In some traditions it is considered the abode of God, and in others a lower level of Paradise, commonly one of seven.

Is paradise the same as heaven? ›

Chrysostom emphasises that paradise is not heaven, and that paradise is without a doubt a place somewhere on earth. An important intertext in this regard is the words Jesus spoke to the bandit on the cross in Luke 23:42: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (NRSV).

What does the Bible say about what we will do in heaven? ›

The Bible says, “They will rest from their labor” (Revelation 14:13). At the same time, the Bible also says that God will have work for us in heaven — and we ought to be glad for this. After all, if all we did in heaven was sit around with nothing to do, we'd get very bored.

What does thee to thy rest mean? ›

Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. The line is often used as a mark of respect when someone dies.

What does Goodnight Sweet prince mean? ›

Interjection. good night, sweet prince. Implies that somebody died.

Why do people say goodnight sweet prince? ›

And so 'good night, sweet prince' has become a poignant way of bidding a deceased loved one farewell. It is more than that, though, as it also expresses respect, and has been used many times at the funerals of national figures – political leaders and social achievers.

Were Horatio and Hamlet in love? ›

And two, he's already in a relationship with Ophelia and despite him being an a-hole sometimes, the two are still in love with eachother. Furthermore, Horatio is gay and in love with Hamlet but can't pursue any relationship with him, due to the reasons above.

What did Horatio whisper to Hamlet? ›

It is Horatio's idea to tell Hamlet about the ghost, supposing that "This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him". Horatio swears secrecy pertaining to the ghost and Hamlet's "antic disposition". He is privy to much of Hamlet's thinking, and symbolizes the ultimate faithful friend.

Does Hamlet love Ophelia? ›

Readers know Hamlet wrote love letters to Ophelia because she shows them to Polonius. In addition, Hamlet tells Ophelia, “I did love you once” (3.1. 117). He professes his love for Ophelia again to Laertes, Gertrude, and Claudius after Ophelia has died, saying, “I loved Ophelia.

Can God be seen in heaven? ›

He is invisible. He is present everywhere. And, he is not localized like we are. Any change in our nature wouldn't help us see God, because it would take a change in His (invisible) nature.

Can you live forever in heaven? ›

As for the rest of humankind, after the final judgment, it is expected that the righteous will receive eternal life and live forever on an Earth turned into a paradise. Those granted immortality in heaven are absolutely immortal and cannot die by any cause. Even God himself wouldn't be able to kill them.

How many heaven and earth do we have? ›

Sumerian incantations of the late second millennium BCE make references to seven heavens and seven earths. One such incantation is: "an-imin-bi ki-imin-bi" (the heavens are seven, the earths are seven.)

Which are the things that make the earth more like heaven? ›

Answer: Little deeds of kindness, little words of love, Make our Earth an Eden, Like the Heaven above. Henry James rightly said: “Three things in human life are important....

What is found on earth will be bound in heaven? ›

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

What is every purpose under heaven? ›

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and ...

What are the 3 types of heaven? ›

The First Heaven is the heaven (reality) we see with our natural eyes. the Second Heaven is where Satan has his throne and the fallen angels dwell (unholy dark realm). The Third Heaven is where God has His throne (celestial kingdom) and rules and reigns over the universe.

How many will go to heaven according to the Bible? ›

The Bible does not say in any part that it is only the 144,000 that will go to heaven. The revelation to John supports Matthew 8:11, which says that many will come from every corner of the earth to sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The number 144,000 that were sealed or chosen are not pre-chosen.

What does it mean to live heaven on earth? ›

: a very pleasant or enjoyable place or situation. We spent our vacation in a real heaven on earth.

What is heaven and earth in the Bible? ›

The first line of the Bible states that heaven is created along with the creation of the earth (Genesis 1). It is primarily God's dwelling place in the biblical tradition: a parallel realm where everything operates according to God's will.

What is the only way to Make heaven? ›

(John14:6) The way to Heaven is only through Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the way to Heaven. He does not merely show the way; He is the way.

What is stored up in heaven? ›

So what does it look like to lay up treasures in heaven? It means believing God's promises and identifying with God's people despite the sure affliction that will follow (Hebrews 10:32-34). God is faithful to his promises and what he promises his people—salvation, life and inheritance—is eternal and incorruptible.

Who holds the keys to heaven? ›

Jesus appoints Peter as keeper of the keys to heaven; angels stand by.

Where does the Bible say there will be a new heaven and earth? ›

Bible Gateway Revelation 21 :: NIV. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

What is the 3 heaven in the Bible? ›

A third concept of Heaven, also called shamayi h'shamayim (שׁמי השׁמים or "Heaven of Heavens"), is mentioned in such passages as Genesis 28:12, Deuteronomy 10:14 and 1 Kings 8:27 as a distinctly spiritual realm containing (or being traveled by) angels and God.

What are the rules of heaven? ›

October 11, 2020
  • Boanthropy: Psychological disorder in which the sufferer believes he or she is a cow or ox.
  • Rule 1: Your life isn't forever until it is.
  • Rule 2: God's grace has forever in mind.
  • Rule 3: Being humbled ain't fun.
  • Rule 4: Being humbled moves you from kNOw to kNOW.
  • Rule 5: You Have a choice.
Oct 12, 2020

Why should God let us into heaven? ›

The only answer that will satisfy the question, “Why should I let you into heaven?” is this, “God, there is no reason at all that you should let me into heaven. I am a sinner. But I believe that Jesus died for my sins, and I am accepting His sacrifice on my behalf.”


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