What was Horatio's development from the beginning to the end of the story in "Hamlet"?it can be physical and emotional development

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The name "Horatio" means orator and that is what Horatio becomes. At the beginning of the play, he is simply a good friend of Hamlet who comes to Elsinore to attend Hamlet's father's funeral. Then the two guards pull him into the story in order to get the ghost to communicate with them. Horatio then tells Hamlet about the ghost but also cautions him against following the spirit. As the play develops, Horatio's role becomes more and more as a support for Hamlet. He watches for Claudius' reaction at "The Murder of Gonzago", receives a message to meet Hamlet who is returning from his interrupted trip to England and follows Hamlet and consoles him after Hamlet learns of the death of Ophelia and is challenged to a duel with Laertes. Through all of this, he becomes Hamlet's one true friend. However, he really has not had much of a public role. Once Hamlet is dying, Horatio wants to die also, but Hamlet asks Horatio to tell his story. It is left to Horatio to inform Fortinbras and the rest of Denmark about Hamlet's true motivations and leave some kind of legacy for his friend. Thus Horatio moves from simple friend to public defender of Hamlet and his actions.