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Truthful Horatio of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Truthful Horatio in Hamlet

Horatio’s role in Hamlet is minor, however he serves two purposes central to the drama. Horatio provides the truth. It is through Horatio that the actions taken by Hamlet and other characters gain credibility. He is the outside observer to the madness. Hamlet could soliloquize to no end, but it is his conversations with Horatio that ground the play in reality. Horatio believes Hamlet and thus we have permission to believe. He sees the Ghost and so we can believe that Hamlet has seen the Ghost. If Horatio were not there, Hamlet’s sanity would truly be in doubt.

Horatio’s second purpose is to be Hamlet’s one true confidant. Apart from Hamlet’s soliloquies, his conversations with Horatio are the only insight we have into what the Prince is really thinking and feeling. But why Hamlet chooses Horatio to become the sole person on whom he can rely is of primary concern here. From the first scene we see that Horatio is calm, resolute, and rational. Not afraid to confront the Ghost, Horatio demands that it speak if it knows what future awaits Denmark or if it has come to make a confession:

If thou art privy to thy country’s fate…

O, speak!

Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life

Extorted treasure in the womb of earth…

Speak of it, stay and speak! (I.i.133-9)

Hamlet admires Horatio for the qualities that Hamlet himself does not possess. He praises Horatio for his virtue and self-control: “Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man/As e’er my conversation cop’d withal” (III.ii.56-7). Horatio’s strength of character is unwavering, and Hamlet longs for the peace of mind that such stoicism must bring to Horatio:

Dost thou hear?

Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,

And could of men distinguish her election,

Hath seal’d thee for herself, for thou hast been

As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,

A man that fortune’s buffets and rewards

Hast ta’en with equal thanks: and blest are those

Whose blood and judgement are so well commedled

That they are not a pipe for fortune’s finger

To sound what stop she please. 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. (III.ii.65-70)

Thus Horatio has reached an apex that Hamlet recognizes is the freedom from emotional upheaval.

Formal Approach to Thomas Gray’s Elegy (Eulogy) Written in a Country Churchyard

Formal Approach to Thomas Gray’s Elegy (Eulogy) Written in a Country Churchyard

Thomas Gray’s poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is a very structured poem with a set number of lines per stanza, and a specific rhyme scheme throughout the entire poem. The poem focuses on Gray’s thoughts while he visits a country churchyard, and ends with an epitaph written on one of the tombstones in the churchyard. The setting of a country churchyard automatically gives way to a small and unknown graveyard, and those that inhabit the graveyard are not going to be well known people in the community or in American history. Gray’s form and style allow for the reader to see the churchyard he is in, and the metaphors and symbolism he uses open the mind of the reader to view the world in a new way.

The form of the poem is a very standard elegy, consisting of four line stanzas and a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b for each stanza. The form gives a visual image of a graveyard and all the plots lined up in a straight lines row after row, and in doing so puts the reader into the same setting as he is in. The setting is not only present in the form of the poem, but also in the first few stanzas. The setting is in a churchyard after sunset, and on a very still and quiet night. Gray’s word choice to describe the churchyard present a vivid picture, such as “Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, and all the air a solemn stillness holds…”(5-6). The reader can visualize the images of the sun setting over the land and the stillness of the night air from his perspective in these lines. The rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b gives the reader a mental picture of plots in the graveyard. In the first stanza, for example, the ending words are day, lea, wa…

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…eople in life might never be seen due to the environment that they are living in or born into. The irony of the poem is that the greatest things on earth might not be those things that we can see and hold to be the greatest.

Gray’s poem makes a reader examine one’s life to truly measure the things that one holds to be great or wonderful, and to look deeper into society to find the truly great things in one’s life. Also, he examines that no matter how great a person in life that they will become a just a “shapeless sculpture” (79) with a name, numbers, and a lasting quote that will sum that person’s entire life up. Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is a poem that truly explains that there are far greater things in life than what society holds to be great, and that one must judge for oneself what is great or not based on one’s own personal experiences.

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