Informing Bethany Lutheran College's Spring 2013 Production. Shows at: April 19, 20, 26, 27 at 7:30pm and April 21 at 2pm
Nick Lilienthal recently requested more information on his character, Horatio. After a little digging, I’ve discovered a couple articles about Horatio’s character, beyond what is in the text. For those of you who interact with Horatio, this might be helpful to you as well.
Keep in mind: all the information I have looked at comes from opinions of others. As a rule, if what we’re doing with the production ever disagrees with the things in you read in articles, ignore the articles and do what your director tells you to, please.
The primary article I found on Horatio’s character was “Horatio: A Shakespearian Confidant” by Francis G. Schoff. Schoff has much to say on Horatio’s actions and even analyses the where most of Horatio’s lines fall in the production and what that says about the importance of his character.
Schoff ultimately sums Horatio’s purpose in the play, thusly:
“Horatio, then, is a nonentity in the play except in the degree that Hamlet’s treatment of him makes us feel otherwise. Because the hero loves and trusts him, we do. And thus, apart from being auditor and reporter, he becomes an embodiment of that helpless love for Hamlet which each member of the audience feels. That, and that only, is his meaningful function in the play” (55.)
I really love the idea that Horatio is the embodiment of the audience’s feelings towards Hamlet. Horatio acts, not only for himself, but for everyone watching the production. If we’re getting really theoretical, then I imagine depending on who your Hamlet is and how the audience in endeared to him from night to night, Horatio would need to respond differently.
1) An analysis of Horatio’s initial report to Hamlet.
2) A poem written from Horatio’s perspective after Hamlet’s death.
3) An introduction to the character, Horatio.
4) A brief character analysis.
Lydia Grabau, Dramaturg