The Character Horatio in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

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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. Also for Horatio to be Hamlet's ear so as to appease the audience's ear, and to communicate the moral of the play.

Horatio serves often as the voice of reason, for instance; he is
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Horatio is seen as a peacemaker, a man of reason, when he calms Hamlet at the Ophelia funeral. Hamlet, in 3.2, asks Horatio to be a second witness to Claudius' guilt upon seeing the Gonsago scene. Hamlet needs verification from Horatio as to the reality of what they both see. At the end of the scene, Horatio supports Hamlet's interpretation of Claudius' actions as proof of guilt.

Horatio, as opposed to Hamlet's dramatic flair, is the character that prompts Hamlet to speak (usually asking Hamlet for exposition or disclosure of Hamlet's thoughts). He merely prompts Hamlet to expound. Shakespeare used the character Horatio to prompt Hamlet to speak so that the audience would hear Hamlet expound while Hamlet was in scene (Hamlet often vocalizes his thoughts, without being helped by Horatio, in soliloquies). For example, at the beginning of 1.4, Horatio asks Hamlet to interpret the sound of horns and cannons, "What does this mean, my lord?" (1.4.7.). Hamlet then tells him about the evil revelry of Claudius. Horatio then prompts Hamlet for more information, "Is it custom?" (1.4.13), after which Hamlet expounds on his attitude toward Claudius. Horatio also prompts, and reacts predictably, to Hamlet's philosophizing in the graveyard scene, saying, "It might, my lord" (5.1.81), and "Ay, my lord" (5.1.87), and "Not a more, my lord" (5.1.113), and (again) "Ay, my lord" (5.1.115). Horatio prompts Hamlet to speak as well as