Hamlet and Horatio’s Relationship

William Shakespeare is a figure from the Western World.  During England’s period he wrote dozens of plays which continue to dominate World Theater 400 years later.  Shakespeare did high drama, romance and slapstick comedy. Some famous quotes known of Shakespeare are     “To be or not to be”, and “Parting is such sweet sorrow”.  His precise birthday is not known.   He was baptized on April 26, 1564 and this date was later considered his date of birth.  Most of Shakespeare’s plays were love based between males.  It was illegal for women and girls to perform in the theatre in Shakespeare’s lifetime.  All of his female parts were written for boys or men.  The text of some plays like Hamlet refer to that.  This is probably why all of his plays involved males with really close relationships.  For example in Hamlet, he and Horatio were more than just friends they were lovers.  Hamlet felt that Horatio was really the only family he had.  Horatio a very close friend to Hamlet, is a very well trusted friend in which Hamlet trust dearly.      

Horatio is Hamlets trusted friend and confidant.  The closeness and love of Hamlet and Horatio’s friendship is established upon their first meeting in the play.  Horatio is first brought into the plot because he is sharp and has some education.  The guards call on him to address the ghost that they have encountered.  When Hamlet follows the ghost anyway, learns that King Hamlet was poisoned and is sworn to avenge his death, Horatio allows himself to be sworn to silence.  Hamlet choose Horatio over his childhood friends by chance.  Horatio is the only one who knows for certain that Hamlet madness is an act.  He is the one person Hamlet love deeply, and trust personally, and the main person to comfort him at his death.  When Hamlet lies dying Horatio is prepared to commit suicide so that he will not have to live without his beloved friend.  Hamlet admires Horatio for the qualities he does not possess.  He praises Horatio for his self-control.  It is said that maybe Horatio was in love with Hamlet.  Horatio at one point feels deeply; he loves Hamlet with all his heart and mentions this throughout certain acts.

After seeing the ghost for the first time, Horatio makes a comment “This bodes some strange eruption to our state”. (126)   This is the point that helped identify his relationship with Hamlet.  Horatio makes two important suggestion to Hamlet concerning some important events that are very well know. The first, in Act I when Hamlet meets the ghost for the first time and the ghost beckons Hamlet to follow it.  Horatio immediately protests and asserts himself aggressively, proclaiming to Hamlet “you shall not go”, and repeating it three times for emphasis. (146) Hamlet ask why, Horatio argues that the ghost may “tempt toward the flood”.  This point put thoughts of suicide into Hamlets mind.

The 2nd example in the final scene when Horatio proclaims that Hamlets choice to face ertes is not advised, Horatio helps Hamlet.  “If your mind dislike anything, obey it”. (122) Here again he helps Hamlet out from making another bad mistake.  If only Hamlet had listened to Horatio warning, he might have been spared his wrongful death.  This is his most crucial mistake. 

The qualities possessed by Horatio were his patience.  Hamlet comments that Horatio takes both the good and bad dealt by life with equal appreciation.  Hamlet acknowledges his own weakness in this area.  Hamlet also praises Horatio for the efficient and effective nature of the relationship between his emotions and his reasons.  Horatio is not “passions slave.”  (146)  This maybe Hamlets main reason of Horatio’s role in Hamlet which is great to the play.

In conclusion, Horatio believes Hamlet so we believe.  He sees the Ghost and so we can believe that Hamlet has seen the ghost.  If Horatio were not there, Hamlets sanity would be in doubt.  Horatios second purpose to Hamlet was one true confidant.  His conversations with Horatio are the only thing we have into what Hamlet was really thinking and feeling.  From scene one we see that Horatio is calm, and rational.  He is not afraid to confront the Ghost.  Hamlet admires, Horatio for this qualities he himself does not have.  He praises him for self-control.  Horatio feels deeply he loves Hamlet with all his heart. I would put this play under the bad, because Horatio and Hamlet were in love but were unable to express to the world how they felt.  Also Hamlets untimely death also mad it bad.  His death mad Horatio want to kill himself.    

Works Cited

Delbanco & Cheuse. Literature: Craft and Voice, 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill, 2012.

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