Sir, in this audience, Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil Free me so far in your most generous thoughts, That I have shot mine arrow o’er the house And hurt my brother.

I love this shot my arrow over the house business but I also don’t fully understand it. It has the FEELING of an idiom but it is not known to be one as far as any notes I’ve read indicate.

It’s not terribly logical this shooting an arrow over the house. That may be part of the reason it has an idiomatic flavor.

Like – why would anyone shoot an arrow over the house? Is that something they do in archery practice?

And is he intentionally shooting the arrow over the house or was he aiming at the house and over shot?

I have questions, obviously. I mean – the hurting of his brother is obvious. Hamlet feels he’s hurt him accidentally. He couldn’t see where that arrow was going. He just fired it (over or at the house) and it hit Laertes. Whoops! Sorry man. Didn’t see you back there. 

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