The relationship between Horatio and Hamlet is one based on extraordinary trust and confidence. It is this trust that allows the two to share everything and to not fear being labeled. This is a very important and critical feature of the foundation on which this friendship is based. While there are others who love Hamlet, most of them are quick to judge and label Hamlet. Horatio is not that interested in dismissing Hamlet's actions as acts of lunacy. He is aware of what Hamlet is doing and cares about it despite that. He is genuinely interested in Hamlet's welfare and Hamlet recognizes this. At one point in the play, he praises Horatio lavishly to make it clear that he values their friendship. In Act 3, Scene 2, Hamlet calls for Horatio in his preparation for the play. Horatio is quick to answer his call to which Hamlet responds with lavish praise telling him that he is "e'en as just a man / As e'er my conversation coped withal" (3.2.54-55).
Horatio is a man who is not driven by passion. He complements Hamlet's personality, Being a deep thinker, he is not easily moved by fits of anger or excitement and his actions reflect that which is one quality that Hamlet lacks and he also acknowledges that when he says:
Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee. (3.2.71-74)
Hamlet is completely aware of the fragility of his relationship with others including his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He understands that the love that Horatio has for him is stronger and more selfless than the love shown by others and thus even in the midst of his lunatic fits, he doesn't fail to praise Horatio for his selfless devotion to Hamlet. It is in the very beginning of the play, Act I, Scene II, that we realize what this relationship means as the strength of it becomes evident when Horatio encounters the apparition of Hamlet's father and feels that Hamlet must be told. Even though Horatio understands that this information could be both painful and dangerous for the very fragile Hamlet, still he wants him to know since the information could be of significance. Horatio fully recognizes the repercussions of communicating this information since he has seen such visions leading to murder and conflicts.
Horatio: In the most high and palmy state of Rome, little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets;
Act I, scene 1)
But hiding the information is a sign of betrayal for him and Horatio cannot think of doing anything like that to Hamlet who is very dear with him. He tells others: "Let us impart what we have seen tonight unto young Hamlet." His honestly is not limited to communication of information, but also includes his own motives. He makes it clear that the reason he wants Hamlet to know this is because he cares about him and sees him as a grieving son.
Hamlet: I am very glad to see you: good even sir.
But what in faith make you from Wittenberg?
Horatio:... My Lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
Hamlet: I pray thee do not mock me, fellow student.
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Horatio: Indeed my Lord, it followed hard upon.
Act I, scene 2)
Another interesting and striking feature of their relationship is secrecy and privacy of information that Hamlet demands and Horatio readily respects. While on most occasions, Horatio doesn't even understand why he is being asked to sworn to secrecy; he is willing to do it without questioning it since his friend wants that. Horatio is often in dark about Hamlet's motives behind the request for secrecy, but he always grants that and keeps his word as a sign of his respect for his friend. This happens first when Hamlet is informed of the appearance of his father's ghost. Hamlet makes it clear that he wouldn't want this information to leak out:
A pray you all,
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight;
Let it be tenable in your silence still:
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night;
Give it an understanding but no tongue;
Act I, scene 2)
After this information has been transferred to Hamlet and it has been discussed with Horatio, Hamlet…
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