Viewpoints of Horatio and Claudius

At the end of Hamlet, Horatio is asked to tell Hamlet's story to the world. This purpose of this study is to explore the topic of viewpoint in literature. There are two sides to every story. Horatio is Hamlet's friend and Claudius is Hamlet's mortal enemy. The following will explore the differences and similarities in viewpoint between Horatio and Claudius in the retelling of the events that took place in Hamlet.
Horatio is a faithful friend of Hamlet. There is only one time when Horatio questions' Hamlet's judgment, when Hamlet confides in the fates of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Horatio supports Hamlet's rash decisions throughout the play. Therefore, Horatio's story would undoubtedly be one of exaltation and praise. It would highlight the good qualities and may intentionally, or unintentionally leave out the less savory aspects of Hamlet's life. His story of Hamlet would portray him as a hero and victim of an evil plot. On the other hand, the story of Claudius could be considered to the be exact opposite. Claudius would be likely to portray Hamlet as a sinister villain. He would be likely to downplay the good points and to highlight the bad points.
Both Claudius and Horatio would be likely to present an account that is similar to their own views of Hamlet. Horatio's loyalties to Hamlet undermine his own sense of self. In the end, Horatio would rather impale himself on his own sword than to live on after Hamlet's death. Horatio would not be able to see Claudius as anything but a villain. Horatio would never believe Claudius' account and would be likely to be angered by it. Claudius would see Horatio's account as jaded. Claudius would dismiss Horatio's story as not seeing the situation in its entirety. Horatio's account would have no credibility for Claudius.
Claudius is more socially adept than Horatio. He has a genuine charm that tends to overshadow …


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