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Word Count: 733
William Shakespeares Hamlet depicts the story of a distraught prince attempting to avenge the wrongful death of his father Many critics have associated Hamlets actions with his tragic flaw but it is often overlooked how friendship played a role in Hamlets apparent self-destruction In Shakespeares play Hamlets relationships can be easily distinguished His relationship with Horatio proves to represent the epitome of rational thinking and true friendship however his relationship with Rosencratz and Guildenstern contrasts representing disloyalty In Jungian archetypes Horatio is the wise man Although historically the wise-man has been played by an old man the archetype manifests itself in a young scholar This archetype is always portrayed as a pragmatic yet intelligent character it is this character who guides the light for the protagonist Hamlet This is evident when Horatio discusses the wisdom of Hamlets duel with Laertes in Act 5 Scene 2 where he attempts dissuade Hamlet from his course of action Horatio is the only character that supports Hamlet throughout the whole play he is the apotheosis of a true friend With quote ACT 3 SCENE 2 60-65 Hamlet describes the qualities of Horatio which he himself lacks LOOK AT PAGE 114 On the contrary while Horatio represents virtue Rosencratz and Guildenztern are a clear representation of the vice When these characters were first introduced Hamlet initially refers them as Act 2 Scene 2 line 217 My excellent good friends Earlier in the play Hamlet also greeted Horatio in the same cordial manner Despite the resemblance in the greetings Hamlet questions the motives of his once good friends Although Hamlet suspects that they are conspiring he trusts them enough to tell them I am but mad north-north-west When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw Hamlet is telling them that he can control his two-face When Hamlet is forced to ask whether the two were sent for and Guildenstern answers yes
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