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Word Count: 655
Horatios role in the play is minor and most critics agree that he is not developed beyond a character foil for the great Prince However Horatio serves two purposes central to the drama and it is through these purposes that we can best discuss those qualities that make Horatio memorable Horatio is our harbinger of truth It is through Horatio that the actions taken by Hamlet and other characters gain credibility He is the outside observer to the madness Hamlet could soliloquize to no end but it is his conversations with Horatio that ground the play in reality Horatio believes Hamlet and thus we have permission to believe He sees the Ghost and so we can believe that Hamlet has seen the Ghost If Horatio were not there Hamlets sanity would truly be in doubt Horatios second purpose is to be Hamlets one true confidant Apart from Hamlets soliloquies his conversations with Horatio are the only insight we have into what the Prince is really thinking and feeling But why Hamlet chooses Horatio to become the sole person on whom he can rely is of primary concern here From the first scene we see that Horatio is calm resolute and rational Not afraid to confront the Ghost Horatio demands that it speak if it knows what future awaits Denmark or if it has come to make a confession If thou art privy to thy countrys fate O speak Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life Extorted treasure in the womb of earth Speak of it stay and speak Ii133-9 Hamlet admires Horatio for the qualities that Hamlet himself does not possess He praises Horatio for his virtue and self-control Horatio thou art een as just a manAs eer my conversation copd withal IIIii56-7 Horatios strength of character is unwavering and Hamlet longs for the peace of mind that such stoicism must bring to Horatio Dost thou hear Since my dear soul was
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