Horatio Foils In Hamlet

1636 Words7 Pages
Every individual has his or her personal likes and dislikes in literature. For some, William Shakespeare is a godsend to the literary world and the Adam of the modern-day English language. For others, he is no more than the devil in Elizabethan dress. One thing that cannot be disputed about him, however, was his was his ability to develop round, multidimensional characters within his plays. It doesn’t matter if we have in mind the villainous Iago, the love struck Romeo, or the treacherous wife of Macbeth. And so it is with the play Hamlet. Within this work we have a protagonist that you feel you might have seen one time on a reality TV show and characters serving within the peripheral that appear eerily similar to neighbors you might…show more content…
Although not as central to the play as those foils involving Hamlet, these additional foils give us a better understanding of the lesser characters in the play. The first of these lesser characters I would like to mention is Horatio, friend and confidant to Prince Hamlet. Horatio is even-tempered, apparently intelligent, and loyal in his friendship to Hamlet. (A case could almost be made that Horatio could also serve as a foil of Hamlet because he is even-tempered and cool under pressure while Hamlet is often rash. But that is not the direction I would like to go.) In the play indications are made that Horatio has no other objective in mind than to support and help Hamlet. We get an example of this when he tries to counsel Hamlet to make rational choices, as demonstrated in the Act I, scene 4 by encouraging Hamlet to be skeptical of the visit of an…show more content…
We get a better idea of the characters’ strengths and deficiencies. Most importantly, we get an understanding of the characters that allows us to better understand their actions within the play. This understanding in turn contributes to our suspension of disbelief, enabling us to feel like we know and sometimes even empathize with the characters of the play. The final result is an effective play that can both entertain and intrigue

More about Horatio Foils In Hamlet

Open Document