Essay PreviewMore ↓
Truthful Horatio in Hamlet
Horatio's role in Hamlet is minor, however he serves two purposes central to the drama. Horatio provides the truth. It is through Horatio that the actions taken by Hamlet and other characters gain credibility. He is the outside observer to the madness. Hamlet could soliloquize to no end, but it is his conversations with Horatio that ground the play in reality. Horatio believes Hamlet and thus we have permission to believe. He sees the Ghost and so we can believe that Hamlet has seen the Ghost. If Horatio were not there, Hamlet's sanity would truly be in doubt.
Horatio's second purpose is to be Hamlet's one true confidant. Apart from Hamlet's soliloquies, his conversations with Horatio are the only insight we have into what the Prince is really thinking and feeling. But why Hamlet chooses Horatio to become the sole person on whom he can rely is of primary concern here. From the first scene we see that Horatio is calm, resolute, and rational. Not afraid to confront the Ghost, Horatio demands that it speak if it knows what future awaits Denmark or if it has come to make a confession:
If thou art privy to thy country's fate...
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth...
Speak of it, stay and speak! (I.i.133-9)
Hamlet admires Horatio for the qualities that Hamlet himself does not possess. He praises Horatio for his virtue and self-control: "Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man/As e'er my conversation cop'd withal" (III.ii.56-7). Horatio's strength of character is unwavering, and Hamlet longs for the peace of mind that such stoicism must bring to Horatio:
Dost thou hear?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,
Hath seal'd thee for herself, for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,
A man that fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and blest are those
Whose blood and judgement are so well commedled
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As i do thee. (III.ii.65-70)
Thus Horatio has reached an apex that Hamlet recognizes is the freedom from emotional upheaval.
How to Cite this Page
"Truthful Horatio of Shakespeare's Hamlet." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Oct 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Hamlet as the Tragic Hero Hamlet is the best known tragedy in literature today. Here, Shakespeare exposes Hamlet’s flaws as a heroic character. The tragedy in this play is the result of the main character’s unrealistic ideals and his inability to overcome his weakness of indecisiveness. This fatal attribute led to the death of several people which included his mother and the King of Denmark. Although he is described as being a brave and intelligent person, his tendency to procrastinate prevented him from acting on his father’s murder, his mother’s marriage, and his uncle’s ascension to the throne.... [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]
828 words (2.4 pages)
- Horatio, The One True Friend William Shakespeare wrote about a distraught prince trying to avenge the wrongful death of his father while all his faith in honesty and the good of man was nearly destroyed. In his play Hamlet, Hamlet is the prince and he is the one who would have lost all his faith in the good of man had it not been for his loyal friend Horatio. Many critics say that Horatio did not play such an important role in the tragedy, that he merely was the informant for the audience and that his character was not developed beyond that fact that he was just the honest confidant of Hamlet.... [tags: essays research papers]
985 words (2.8 pages)
- Throughout literature, there a character who provides a moral compass for other characters. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Horatio’s character seems fairly simple: somewhat of a “yes-man” to Hamlet, often agreeing with anything Hamlet says. However, at the end of the play we understand his significance, as he is one of the last survivors. This transition is unexpected because for most of the play, Horatio is a reserved character and doesn’t speak very often. Despite this, it is clear that Horatio and Hamlet’s friendship is extremely deep, and Hamlet trusts Horatio more than anybody.... [tags: shakespeare, hamlet, horatio]
942 words (2.7 pages)
- "Alas he's mad" (3:4:108) How far do you agree with the statement that Hamlet is mad. A great controversial talking point of the play Hamlet is whether he was mad or in fact making people think he was mad. I disagree with Gertrude's statement that Hamlet is mad. I ask you what the definition of madness, the relatively permanent disorder of the mind, a state of mind characterized by the inability to distinguish right from wrong. Indeed Hamlet only acts mad in front of certain people such as his mother, Polonius, Ophelia, Claudius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who he knows are spying on him.... [tags: essays research papers]
1986 words (5.7 pages)
- William Shakespeare's Hamlet Works Cited Missing The action opens after Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, has been summoned home from his studies at the University of Wittenberg by news of his father's death and his mother's swift marriage with his father's brother, Claudius, who has taken the throne. Denmark is on alert because of a threat from the Norwegian prince, Fortinbras, to invade Denmark and recover certain territory.... [tags: Papers]
2787 words (8 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Shakespeare's Hamlet]
823 words (2.4 pages)
- In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Hamlet, Prince Hamlet conspires to avenge his father’s murder. Throughout the play, Hamlet spirals through bouts of insanity, depression, and hostility. However, across his tragic tale, Hamlet’s old friend Horatio remains a constant. A scholar and a loyal friend to Hamlet, Horatio acts as one of Hamlet’s many character foils, meaning his characteristics contrast to Hamlet highlighting certain personality traits and allowing the reader to understand Hamlet. Horatio’s minor role is vital to the story of Hamlet.... [tags: hamlet, shakespeare]
1076 words (3.1 pages)
- A person cannot truly exist without those people around him, just as a play may not be successful without its supporting characters. Horatio and Ophelia are often disregarded as "supporting actors" within the play. They spend very little time onstage, and when they are their roles seem trivial; however, their true purpose is much greater. The characters of Horatio and Ophelia have two very different functions in the play. Horatio is used as a foil for Hamlet, the person to whom Hamlet can discuss his course of action and act like his true self.... [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare ]
1339 words (3.8 pages)
- The Character Horatio in Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the confidant Horatio is created to serve a number of different purposes. Horatio is a flat character. He is a loyal, obedient, and trustworthy companion to Hamlet. His character does not undergo any significant transformation throughout the play, except that he serves as a witness of the death of Hamlet, Claudius, and Gertrude. Horatio's role in the play seems to be as a utilitarian character that Shakespeare created in order to heighten the suspense of the play.... [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]
1244 words (3.6 pages)
- Hamlet and Horatio Horatio holds the seat of honor in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, for being the only character among the dramatis personae who is extremely close to the protagonist. Horatio’s emotional bond with the hero is paradoxically closer than that of Hamlet’s mother to the hero. This essay will examine the character of Horatio, Hamlet’s truest friend. D.G. James’ essay, “The New Doubt,” explains the hero’s passionate admiration of Horatio: But we must remark how Hamlet speaks of Horatio; he does so in words of passionate admiration.... [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
3393 words (9.7 pages)