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Why is Hamlet so concerend that Horatio stay alive to tell his story? How much do the...

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baerlee12 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 19, 2012 at 7:14 PM via web

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Why is Hamlet so concerend that Horatio stay alive to tell his story? How much do the other people at the court know at this point? 

Shakespear's Hamlet

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 20, 2012 at 2:43 AM (Answer #1)

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The other people at the court know virtually nothing about Hamlet's problem or Hamlet's story, since the principals are all dead--Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Gertrude, and Claudius. Horatio has actually seen the Ghost and has been with Hamlet at the play within a play when Claudius's guilty behavior proved that the Ghost was really Hamlet's father and was really telling the truth. Hamlet wants his story told to the general public so that he won't be thought of as a man motivated by ambition and generally wicked motives, even though he was either directly or indirectly responsible for all the deaths in the play. It may have been that Shakespeare wanted to tie up any loose ends by leaving one of the principal characters alive to explain the complex plot and justify Hamlet's behavior.

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