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Horatio: A True Friend of Hamlet Essay

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William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tragic play. Most of the characters in the play have selfish motives at heart. Lust, greed, pride, and revenge are just a few sins that are committed in the play. There are few instances within the play that show goodness and kindness. Hamlet has so many people around him trying to bring him down, but he had one friend that was loyal to him, and that was Horatio. The other key characters in the play were only out for their own good. However Horatio was looking out for Hamlet. Unfortunately, Horatio was the only one.

Gertrude was Hamlet’s mother. She was a selfish and evil woman. She cheated on Hamlet’s father with Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle. She married Claudius a month after her husband’s death. Gertrude wanted Hamlet to stop his grieving. She told Hamlet, “thou know’st ‘tis common, all that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity” (I.2.72-73). When Hamlet was depressed and grieving, it reminded Gertrude of the terrible sin she had committed. She wanted Hamlet to be happy just so she could feel better about herself. Throughout the play Gertrude’s motives do not waiver; she looks out for her own well being.

Claudius is Hamlet’s uncle and stepfather. He had an affair with Hamlet’s mother and murdered Hamlet’s father. Claudius cared for no one in the play but himself. There were very few happy moment for Hamlet in the play, but one came when he made a play within the play. Hamlet wanted to see the reaction the Claudius had to the scene on the play where they show how the king was murdered. Claudius’ reaction to the scene was astounding. “Give me some light. Away!”(III.2. 255). Hamlet saw his reaction and knew for sure that Claudius killed his father. Claudius was a horrible uncle ...


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This play is not a typical happy ending type of play. In fact there are very few happy moments in the play. I do not think that Shakespeare intended for someone to walk away with a warm feeling in his or her heart. I am not sure of the real reason he wrote the play and what it was he wanted the audience to learn from it. I learned that revenge is something that can take over your mind and cause someone to do things that they would not normally do. It seems that Shakespeare was trying to teach us to search inside of ourselves and not let the outside world influence us in any way. Maybe he was trying to show us that we all need good friends like Horatio.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. 7th ed.Ed Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Prentice Hall, 2004. 1307-1406


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