After Hamlet dies, does Fortinbras describe Hamlet appropriately? Should Hamlet be honored?

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Fortinbras says that Hamlet, had he the opportunity to rule Denmark, would have "proved most royal," and Fortinbras wants Hamlet to receive all the honors of a soldier (5.2.444). This seems pretty debatable to me, honestly. We don't really get to see Hamlet before he's depressed and in mourning...

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Fortinbras says that Hamlet, had he the opportunity to rule Denmark, would have "proved most royal," and Fortinbras wants Hamlet to receive all the honors of a soldier (5.2.444). This seems pretty debatable to me, honestly. We don't really get to see Hamlet before he's depressed and in mourning for his father, and then he moves into his desire for revenge on Claudius and starts to act mad; thus, it is kind of difficult to determine what sort of king he might have been had he the chance. After Hamlet's awkward conversation with Ophelia when she returns his gifts and letters to him, she does describe what Hamlet was like prior to the play's beginning. She says that he used to have a "noble mind," that he had the eye and tongue and sword of a courtier, soldier, and scholar (3.1.163). He was the "rose of the fair state," and everyone had such high expectations for him (3.1.166). She laments that his "blown youth" is now destroyed by madness, and she grieves, indeed, for the loss of who Hamlet once was (3.1.173). However, it is only because of this description—from a young woman who is in love with him and therefore is biased—that we have much sense of what Hamlet was like in his life previous to his father's death. His friendship with the noble, loyal, and discerning Horatio is, perhaps, another piece of evidence as to who Hamlet once was. It is possible, then, that Hamlet deserves Fortinbras's praise and the honors that Fortinbras seems willing to bestow on him; however, we really don't get to see that side of Hamlet often in the play.

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