The relationship between the tragic protagonist, Hamlet and his long-time friend Horatio is one that is more complex than his relationship with any other character he interacts with throughout the play. Throughout the play, Hamlet seems to prove over and over again that his love for Horatio is consistent and genuine and is rarely in question. In Act 1, Scene 2, Shakespeare shows the audience the strength of Hamlet and Horatio’s relationship when the latter lets Hamlet know that he has seen what he thought was the ghost of his deceased father, previously known as King Hamlet.
This initial interaction between Horatio and Hamlet shows the strong relationship they have. I could not help but to realize that Horatio is without question one of the most optimistic, courageous, and valiant characters when compared to the rest of the cast. My claim is supported in Act 1, Scene 2, when he recognizes the ghost/spirit of Hamlet’s deceased father, attempts to even go as far approaching the ghost, even though he did not approach the ghost of King Hamlet successfully. Immediately after this encounter, Horatio then notifies Hamlet about what had happened and how it was proof that Hamlet wasn’t seeing things. “As I do live, my honored lord, ’tis true, / And we did think it writ down in our duty / To let you know if it” (1.2, lines 220-222).
This quote goes to prove once again the loyalty and solid bond they have with one another. He gave Hamlet a very detailed description of what he had witnessed in his attempt to approach the ghost of KIng Hamlet. His honesty and transparency further explains the density of their friendship. In the scenes that we have read, there are many other characteristics of Horatio and Hamlet that we are presented with. Horatio is also known to be a peacemaker and someone who can be trusted/confided in.
In several occasions, Horatio is known to be Hamlet’s go to man. Shakespeare does an exceptional job in showing the detail of how their relationship. For example, Hamlet is very comfortable with Horatio to the point where he confides in him alone, confessing his suspicions of Horatio’s judgements and also trusting him with the justification of his acts to his future. When analyzing Hamlet as an individual, it is made easier when you use the characters around him and the relationship he has with all of them. To have the ability to understand Hamlet himself, you have to understand the richness of his bond with Horatio and why Hamlet chooses to hold only Horatio at such high standards.
Examining the strength of their relationship and why it’s so strong as well as going even further to evaluate Hamlet’s choice in the eyes of Horatio, we are able to fully understand the power and meaning of Shakespeare’s work. As many people may overlook, Horatio is the very first character other than Hamlet brought on the scene due to his wealth of knowledge and credentials. Horatio’s role in the play is to be the anchor of reason in the plot that was full of anger and absurdity, and he is capable of providing a reasonable perspective to everything and that is another key reason for Hamlet being able to confide in him because he understands him when no one else does.