Essay: Character of Horatio in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Sample Essay

Horatio may not be the main character in Shakespeare’s play but is undoubtedly one who contributes to the development of the play the most in the supporting cast. We see him as a friend to Hamlet and one who defines loyalty in friendship. He continues to remain loyal to his friendship with Hamlet through the course of the play and never once doubts anything Hamlet says. However, he does not come forth as a man who preserves the good in his person simply for Hamlet remains original and true to his personality throughout the play.

An example of the general perception of the trustworthiness of his personality and the sincerity of his words can be found in the fact that when Hamlet claimed to have seen the ghost, Horatio was the man who the guards trusted to confirm that the ghost actually did exist.  Also, he comes forth as the only close friend with whom Hamlet chooses to share his suspicions regarding the possibility of King Claudius being the potential perpetrator of his father’s murder. Furthermore, it was Horatio who King Claudius chose to trust with Hamlet during Ophelia’s funeral. However, as was the case with Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Horatio too is equipped with all the characteristics in his personality that are required to walk him into trouble. We see time and again that Horatio, while being warm hearted, is also hot headed and tends to lose composure of his calmness when he is angered or infuriated. He enters a phase where he makes decisions and statements that he regrets later on and in doing so, does not only make his own self dejected and despondent but makes the people around him feel miserable as well.

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