Horatio : Character Analysis from the play Hamlet.

Essay by lynknparke May 2005

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I believe that out of all the characters in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Horatio, has the most potential. What I mean by potential is that Horatio would make the best real person if he were not a character within the play. Besides Horatio, every other character seems to have some kind of major flaw or weakness in comparison. Claudius is obviously power hungry and only concerned with himself. Gertrude, although means well, is portrayed as betraying King Hamlet by sleeping with Claudius. Polonius is sneaky and likes to speak on everything he hears. Laertes strikes Hamlet and winds up killing him with poison. Ophelia is so dependent on her father that she goes into a disarray and eventually kills herself. And Hamlet, who is second to Horatio in terms of potential, hurts himself by seeking revenge and killing unarmed Polonius for no real reason. Horatio proves to be the most likable character because he sticks by Hamlets side the entire story, and offers advice and companionship, rather than obsessing about his own well-being.

Horatio is a character in the play who thinks things out before actually attempting them. He possesses a level of knowledge demonstrated throughout the play, while advising Shakespeare on what he believes he should do or not do. The first sign of this is when Horatio and Hamlet encounter the ghost of King Hamlet. "Why, what should be the fear? I do not set my life at a pin's fee, and for my soul, what can it do to that"? (Shakespeare 653) Hamlet has already made up his mind about following the ghost, and finding out what it wants. Horatio pleads for Hamlet not to go, but he doesn't listen anyway. Although Horatio couldn't sway Hamlet from following the ghost, at least he was concerned and...