With Queen Elizabeth's love for Shakespeare's plays, the bard may have inserted Osric into the drama in order to provide some satire for Her Majesty and other Englishmen. For, Osric is a fashionable and flashy courtier typical of the Elizabethan court, rather than the Danish, and he earns a place in court because as Hamlet tells Horatio "he hath much land and fertile" (5.2.86). In his sense of self-importance, Osric, however, goes too far in imitation of witty dialogue by being extravagant and even absurd. His affectations such as his ridiculous formalities, tarnish his efforts at courtliness and politeness, as well. His sycophancy is exposed when Hamlet says it is cold and Osric, who has previously stated that he has taken off his hat because it is hot, agrees; then Hamlet says it is hot, and Osric immediately and slavishly concurs with this opinion:
HAMLET Put your bonnet for its right use. 'Tis for the head.
OSRIC I thank your lordship, it is very hot.
HAMLET No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is northerly.
OSRIC It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
HAMLET But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my complexion
OSRIC Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry, as 'twere-I cannot tell how.... (5.2.93-98)
In addition to his role as a courtier to be satirized, the reader may well infer that Osric was privy to the final treachery against Hamlet. For, as Laertes dies he says to the courtier,
Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric;
I am justly killed with mine own treachery. (5.2. 326)
and Osric receives this confession with no noticeable astonishment.