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Final Exam English 220 Essay

663 words - 3 pages

Horatio epitomizes the faithful friend. Although, most critics say his role in the play is minor, Horatio serves two purposes essential to the drama, which makes Horatio most memorable. Horatio is the symbol of truth and virtue and only the only reliable and honorable source throughout the play. Shakespeare restrains Horatio’s involvement in the pandemonium that occurs by only connecting him to issues through Hamlet. Horatio takes the position of an outsider able to look into the situation in an open-minded manner. Due to his respect for Horatio, Hamlet allows Horatio to advise him as the play unfolds. Shakespeare gives Horatio the role of speaking the truth. Moreover, he serves the purpose of being Hamlets sole confidant, an intellectual voice to see the fall of the Danish empire, and a man of truth.

In Act I Scene I, Horatio is calm, determined and stable which are all qualities ...view middle of the document...

In addition, Hamlet considers Horatio his good friend and doesn’t doubt his honesty and loyalty, when he states, “I know you are no truant.” (Act I Scene 1 163) Horatio’s steady support and care for Hamlet’s well-being expands the limit of their friendship. His true devotion is shown when the concern of the Ghost’s appearance he states, “what if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord?” (Act I Scene IIII 69) When Hamlet lies dying, Horatio is prepared to commit suicide, acting out in a sense of honor and duty.

Horatio’s sincerity and fidelity, as opposed to the other characters’ deceitfulness, destines him to be the only truthful one. Throughout the play, Shakespeare characterizes Horatio as being admired and intelligent. In the opening scene, Marcellus says, “Thou art a scholar.” (Act I Scene I 46) This approval as well as Hamlet’s trust in Horatio, is what sets him apart from the other characters. Unlike Rosencrantz and Guildenstern or Claudius, Horatio isn’t involved in deceiving Hamlet or planning his death.

Horatio’s role as the man of truth is very significant at the end of the play when we are able to clearly see why Shakespeare created him “to tell my [Hamlet’s] story.” (Act V Scene II 352) Instead of committing suicide, like he originally wanted to, Hamlet tells Horatio to stay alive for the purpose of approving Hamlet’s actions and clearing his “wounded name” (Act V Scene II 345) Here, Hamlet approves Horatio’s intelligence and realizes since he was unable to follow his father’s ghost’s orders, Horatio is in the position to clear Hamlet’s actions and deliver a first person account on the fall of the Danish empire.

In conclusion, Horatio is a respected and intellectual character who plays a crucial role as a vague individual. Not only is he Hamlet’s very best friend, but he also plays a key element in predicting the chaotic events in the play and poses as the man of all truths. Horatio is vital in shaping the plays outcome and expanding it’s meaning. Not only is he Hamlet’s friend, but also an honest persona left to speak the truth about Hamlet’s disastrous ending.

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