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Example research essay topic: King Of England Laertes And Hamlet - 1,183 words

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&# 9; William Hamlets Friendships Hamlets Friendships &# 9; William Shakespeare's Hamlet, depicts the story of a distraught prince attempting to avenge the wrongful death of his father while nearly all his faith in honesty and the good of man is destroyed. Hamlet loses both his mother and father as a result of the royal scandal. Hamlet is forced to turn to his friends for consultation and advice. Hamlets relationship with Horatio proves to represent the epitome of rational thinking and friendship, while Rosencratz and Guildenstern contrast this by reassigning their loyalties and abandoning their friendship with Hamlet. &# 9; The audience meets Horatio in the opening scene of the play. Marcellus and Bernardo, the Danish officers on guard at the castle, coax Horatio to speak to the vision that came to visit the castle. This sets the tone for Horatio's character.

He is asked by the officers to speak to the spirit because he is a most educated scholar and the only one among them qualified to speak in such an intimidating situation. This demonstrates the respect shown to Horatio, although he is a nobleman. Horatio establishes his bravery during the opening scene by questioning the ghost. His actions demand respect. &# 9; Rosencratz and Guildenstern are introduced to the audience during the second scene of the second act.

Hamlet went to school with both Rosencratz and Guildenstern. The first encounter that Hamlet has with Rosencratz and Guildenstern is very significant. Hamlet greets the two by referring to them as his excellent good friends (II, ii, 245). Earlier in the play Hamlet greeted Horatio in a similar, cordial fashion. Although the exchange that Hamlet has with Horatio is similar to the one he has with Rosencratz and Guildenstern, the latter raised many suspicions and forced Hamlet to question their motives.

Since the two men were schoolmates and friends of Hamlet, they were summoned to Court by Claudius and Gertrude to spy on Hamlet to help explain his odd behavior. This conspiring goes on behind Hamlets back and eludes to their deteriorating loyalty towards Hamlet. &# 9; As the play progresses, Horatio's loyalty to Hamlet becomes increasingly evident. Horatio was the one to tell Hamlet about the vision of his father that the men had seen the night before. When the ghost appears to Hamlet, it is Horatio who discourages him from following the ghost, however his pleas come up short.

He is concerned with Hamlets well being and wants nothing disastrous to occur due to Hamlets interest with a ghost. Horatio, who was also one of Hamlets schoolmates, adamantly vows to remain silent about the ghost of Hamlets father. &# 9; As Hamlets faith in Horatio grows, his trust in Rosencratz and Guildenstern diminishes. Both of their simple minds become engulfed in the idea of being of some service to the royal family. They never stopped to ask themselves why or question their own motives. &# 9; Horatio's loyalty is to his friend, while Rosencratz and Guildenstern's loyalty is to the royal family.

The two eventually become puppets of the King. In essence, these former friends of Hamlet are attached to strings that the King controls in full with a simple movement of his hand. They sell-out to the possibility of gaining prestige and respect by re-assigning their loyalties. This proves to be their tragic flaw that leads to their eventual deaths. &# 9; During the second scene of the third act the players perform their performance of The Murder of Gonzaga. Hamlet asks for Horatio's assistance. Horatio agrees and is instructed to observe the Kings reaction to a particular speech during the play.

Now Hamlet has acquired his own spy. The play is a reenactment of Claudius murder of his brother. When the murder is described, Claudius rises from his throne to the disgust and familiarity of what he has seen. Everyone leaves the hall except for Hamlet and Horatio who both agree that Claudius expressed his guilt by his terrified reaction to the play. This is a very significant scene between Horatio and Hamlet. Horatio and Hamlet now support the ghosts accusation completely.

At this moment in the play, Horatio becomes Hamlets accomplice in uncovering the sick truths of the royal family. &# 9; After the performance of The Murder of Gonzaga, Claudius is determined to send Hamlet to England and rid the castle of his madness. In all actuality, Claudius wants to send Hamlet to England because he poses the only threat to Claudius position. The play made it obvious to Claudius that Hamlet is aware of how his father died. Claudius turns to his faithful spies, and orders Rosencratz and Guildenstern to escort Hamlet to England. Once again Hamlets former friends are assisting the King in his plot to exile Hamlet and insure his position as King of Denmark.

Hamlet describes Rosencratz by saying that he soaks up the Kings countenance, his rewards, his authorities (IV, ii, 16 - 17). Hamlet is a smart man and has no trouble recognizing that his fool-hearted schoolmates are conspiring with the King. &# 9; Ironically enough, Rosencratz and Guildenstern meet their own death due to their undermining plans to stab their own friend in his back. Claudius sent Rosencratz and Guildenstern with a note to give to the King of England. Hamlet, who is suspicious of his sudden deportation to England, locates the instructions that Claudius has written for the King of England. Claudius had ordered for the King of England to have Hamlet beheaded. Hamlet rewrites the instructions so that they request the beheading of Rosencratz and Guildenstern.

The new instructions are carried out and ironically the two mens treachery leads to their own demise in the hands of the man they betrayed. &# 9; The play reaches its climax when the fight ensues between Laertes and Hamlet, despite the unheard pleas of Horatio to avoid the fight. During the scuffle, the queen falls victim to poisonous wine and Laertes and Hamlet are both stuck with the poisonous sword. Hamlet manages to stay alive just long enough to kill Claudius and ask Horatio to explain what has happened. Although Horatio is prepared to join Hamlet in death, he refrains simply so he can insure that Hamlets name will go unblemished after his death. Horatio stands by his friend to the end and exemplifies the true friend. &# 9; Although Horatio is simply a nobleman, Hamlet considers him his best and only true friend.

Horatio possesses in him a strong set of morals, integrity, and intelligence. Hamlets fondness for Horatio escalates to an admiration for his character. Horatio represents the all-enduring judgement that Hamlet could never succumb too. Horatio is the rational thought that Hamlet could never accept no matter how hard he tried. In contrast, Rosencratz and Guildenstern represent disloyalty and dishonesty.

They make the conscious decision to betray their friend and instead conspire with the King to eliminate Hamlet. Although no glory was bestowed upon Horatio for his loyalty, he did manage to live while both Rosencratz and Guildenstern died due to their disloyalty and lost morals. 32 e


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