Hamlet Friendship or Betrayal
Uploaded by lordvador81 on Apr 10, 2007
Hamlet - Friendship or Betrayal
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is the story of a troubled prince attempting to avenge his father’s murder as his good and honesty starts to diminish. Hamlet loses his loved ones including his mother and father due to a royal scandal. Hamlet then has no other choice but to turn to his friends for consultation and advice. Hamlet’s friendship with Horatio boosts, while Rosencrantz and Guildenstern convey their loyalty, discarding their friendship with Hamlet.
Horatio is introduced to the audience in the beginning of the first scene of the play. Marcellus and Bernardo, the officers guarding the castle, persuade Horatio to talk to the ghost that came to the castle. This gives us an indication of Horatio’s character. He is the most educated person among them qualified to speak to the ghost in such a frightening situation. This gives admiration towards Horatio.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are introduced to the audience in Act 2, scene 2. They are both friends with Hamlet since school days. Their first encounter with Hamlet is very important. Hamlet greets them as his “excellent good friends” (II, ii, 245). Earlier, Hamlet also greeted Horatio in a similar manner. Although the way Hamlet greets Horatio is similar to that of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he is suspicious and questions their presence. The two men were called to court by Claudius and Gertrude to spy on Hamlet due to his odd behavior. This is a sign of their fading loyalty towards Hamlet.
As the play advances, Horatio’s loyalty towards Hamlet starts to become clear. Horatio was the one to tell Hamlet not to talk to the ghost of his father they saw previously. When the ghost appears, Horatio is the one who discourages Hamlet from following the ghost. He is concerned about Hamlet’s well-being, and does not want anything bad to occur. Horatio, also being one of Hamlet’s schoolmates, swears to stay silent about the ghost of Hamlet’s father.
As Hamlet’s faith in Horatio grows, his trust in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern diminishes. They both become overwhelmed in the idea of providing service to the royal family. They never stopped to question themselves to why they are doing so.
Horatio’s loyalty is to Hamlet, while Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s loyalty is to the royal family. The two of them become puppets of the king. They sell themselves out to gain status and respect with the royal family. This leads to their eventual...