Hamlet and key relationships
In Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, the Shakespearian hero is undoubtedly the most compelling character. He is dynamic, complex and, through his soliloquies, we are provided with most of the thematic content in Hamlet. However, it is not just Hamlet’s soliloquies that develop his character and establish the thematic content; the secondary characters that surround him, and, more his relationships and interactions with them provide us with just as much to digest as Hamlet’s private meditations. Hamlet and Laertes mirror each other in many important ways, creating a complex thematic scene and establishing a parallel story with interesting implications; Hamlet’s choices concerning his mother, as well as the dialogue that the two of them engage in, constitute a veritable hero-test, demonstrating the strength of Hamlet’s virtue; Hamlet’s actions and words with respect to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern represent a significant arc for Hamlet, and his eventual plotting to kill them speaks volumes about a crucial part of his character. We also perceive brave Hamlet’s relentless search for reality uncovering and unveiling the countless number of questions trapped inside him. This shows the struggle displays the power of Claudius and the unmistakable sense of manipulation in his character. I think the most important character to consider when dissecting Hamlet is Hamlet’s chosen confidant and dearest friend Horatio. Hamlet trusts Horatio implicitly; he confides in Horatio and exalts him as “e’en as just a man / As e’er my conversation coped withal”. Knowing the reasons why Hamlet holds Horatio in such high regard provides much insight into Hamlet himself. However, it is not just the illumination of Hamlet that is Horatio’s function: only by virtue of Horatio’s apparent believability is the audience persuaded to swallow the many surreal and/or ridiculous occurrences in Hamlet and appreciate its power. By examining Horatio’s relationship with Hamlet...
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