Friendship is not always having the same personalities. William Shakespeare often portrays complicated friendship in his plays. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he portrays two friends with opposite personalities but completes each other’s lacking qualities. Hamlet and Horatio are good friends. From being childhood friends to becoming an adult, they remained loyal to each other. Although with almost similar upbringing, Hamlet and Horatio are both intelligent and loyal to each other, they have their own views and attitudes that contrast to one another.
Such as, Hamlet tends to be more emotional while Horatio tends to be more logical in terms of thinking, and when entraps in a difficult situation; Hamlet acts impulsively while Horatio remains mostly calm. In spite of their differences, they are compatible as good friends. Hamlet and Horatio are both scholars in the school of Wittenberg. Known to be both intellectual, the similarities of the two can be seen in many parts of the play. For example, Hamlet’s wit is shown when he manipulates people around him for a secret plan to avenge his father’s death. Hamlet easily manipulates everyone except for Horatio.
For instance, the play within the play or The Mousetrap is Hamlet’s idea to confirm Claudius’ fault by witnessing his reaction from the play. Having the ability to use other people in a harmless way while avenging his father’s death in disguised is an act of cleverness and very convincing. As for Horatio, he is Hamlet’s partner in all of his plans. With Horatio’s perspectives and different outlook, he is an extension to Hamlet’s completeness.
The two are able to supplement each other’s ideas for a successful revenge. In addition to that, everyone in Elsinore also knows Horatio as a nowledgeable man. For example, On Act I Scene I, Marcellus, one of the castle guards said, “Thou art scholar. Speak to it, Horatio. The guard who witnessed the ghost specifically called Horatio for advice about the incident. Since then, he is known to be a man with extensive education in many areas, even in supernatural. “Birds of the same feather flock together” as what the English Proverb says, these two can be described as that. Having the same similarities of being intelligent, no doubt they are good friends to one another. The two are also known to be very loyal.
Hamlet and Horatio’s loyalty can be seen throughout the play, especially to one another. Horatio is the only one who knows Hamlet’s secrets of revenge. Hamlet does not trust the people of Elsinore. Even Ophelia, Hamlet’s lover, he could not fully trust but only Horatio. As it can be seen on Act III, Scene II, Hamlet says “Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice And could of men distinguish, her election Hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast beenAs one in suffering all that suffers nothing—” Hamlet tells Horatio that, of all his friends, he chooses and accepts Horatio gratefully with both good and bad reasons.
As for Horatio, he remains very loyal to Hamlet; he is there to support him in all the decisions, even in times of distress. For example, when Hamlet is dying at the end of the play, Horatio offers to also kill himself to show his love to Hamlet. However, Hamlet advised him to live to tell the story, so he does that. Indeed, Hamlet and Horatio’s loyalty for one another is a true form of friendship. In spite of the similarities, Hamlet and Horatio has characteristics that are in contrast to one another. Hamlet tends to react aggressively when in a difficult situation while Horatio stays calmly.
For example, on Act III, Scene I, Hamlet let his emotions overpower his actions. He became aggressive towards Ophelia when he finds out that she is the daughter of Laertes. He says, “If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry. Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell. ” During this scene, Hamlet lets his aggressive nature to deceive his enemies while they are watching.
Hamlet also acts like a lunatic instead of remaining calmly as he is with the woman whom he once loved. So, he physically and verbally abuses Ophelia. Therefore, it is easy to say that Hamlet is a person who tends to get aggressive rather than calm when entraps in a difficult situation. Another example is during Ophelia’s burial, Hamlet says “Thou pray’st not well. I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat, For though I am not splenitive and rash, Yet have I something in me dangerous, Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.
Hamlet says that he tends to be dangerous and rash to anger. This scene clearly exemplifies Hamlet as an aggressive man. As for Horatio, he stays calm even when Hamlet goes outrage; he is always there to give advices to Hamlet. Without Horatio being calm by his side, it will be hard for them to get through the revenge. Another difference of Hamlet and Horatio are their way of thinking. Hamlet tends to be more emotional while Horatio is more on the logical side. For example, the time when Hamlet and Horatio went to see the ghost, the ghost was calling for Hamlet alone.
Horatio tries to stop Hamlet and says to think first before following because it may cause him harm. Hamlet on the other side, he does not think of any consequences, instead, he follows his heart and emotions to go with the ghost. As it can be seen on Act I, Scene IV, “My fate cries out And makes each petty artery in this body As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve. Still am I called. —Unhand me, gentlemen. (draws his sword) By heaven, I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me. | say, away! —Go on. I’ll follow thee” Knowing that the ghost is Hamlet’s father, Hamlet does not even think twice before doing.
Horatio, opposing to Hamlet’s decisions, tries hard to give him logical reasons not to follow this ghost but failed to do so. Indeed, Hamlet is a man true of his emotions rather than being rational. Horatio, in contrast always has a formal argument on point. In other words, Horatio is the witness of Hamlet’s emotional madness and one who takes control when Hamlet becomes too emotional in terms of his thinking. As what the old sayings go, “opposites attract”. No wonder they complement each other because one may lack a characteristics but the other possess it, which makes them perfect partners.
To sum up, Hamlet and Horatio makes good partners to one another because their similarities and differences complement each other. Hamlet and Horatio remain loyal to each other because of their same level of contrast thinking. Their contradicting characteristics completes each other’s lacking attributes such as Hamlet may be aggressive in nature, but he has Horatio to calm everything. Horatio’s logical thinking gives advices to Hamlet who is mostly irrational in thinking. Despite the differences, these two are good friends because of many similarities in characteristics that they possess.