no planets strike

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Senior Member
This is from Hamlet. Marcellus says after having looked the ghost of the late King Hamlet.

It faded on the crowing of the cock. Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad. The nights are wholesome. Then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, So hallowed and so gracious is that time
(original 8 lines edited into 4)

The underlined part is somewhat not clear to me.
Does it mean 'no meteors falling from the sky'?

Thanks in advance!
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Planet' has never included meteors, so this refers to the imagined astrological powers of the planets: they could 'strike' people - strike them blind, or dead, we still say.


    Senior Member
    English but my first language was German
    Astrologers of the time (and astronomers---the two professions were not yet separate) believed that one's soul contained images of geometric figures that were stimulated by the planets. See here, page 166 of "The Fated Sky".
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