Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Hamlet book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Compare and contrast the characters of Hamlet and Horatio in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,253 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

In Act 1, scene 4, Horatio demonstrates his loyalty to Hamlet by attempting to prevent the prince from following the ghost. He fears that the ghost is not really the spirit of Hamlet's dead father but rather some demon that might tempt Hamlet toward the edge of a cliff or compel Hamlet to lose his "sovereignty of reason / And draw [him] into madness" (1.4.81-82).

Hamlet threatens to "make a ghost" of anyone who tries to hold him back and so Horatio lets him go; however, Horatio and Marcellus do follow Hamlet to make sure that he will be safe. Here, Horatio displays his loyalty to Hamlet, knowing when to hold his tongue and keep a secret and wanting to protect his friend. He has come, of course, from Wittenberg for the funeral of Hamlet's father, unbidden (unlike Rosencrantz and Guildenstern). He clearly loves his friend and wants to help.

Hamlet, likewise, clearly loves his father and continues to mourn him though the court has, apparently, moved on. He continues to wear black and argues that...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 944 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,094 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lmetcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,941 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial