The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1292 Thursday, 22 July 1999.
Date: Monday, 19 Jul 1999 12:36:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.1282 Re: Horatio
Comment: Re: SHK 10.1282 Re: Horatio
Clifford Stetner wrote:
<<For me, Horatio is Kyd whom Shakespeare has brought on stage as
personal tribute and as symbol of the nobler aspirations of Elizabethan
This is very interesting and suggestive.
I confess I am not yet convinced enough about Horatio as a name coming
from "ratio". It is true that Horatio is thought by Hamlet as a scholar
of philosophy and a kind of Stoic, but his role in the play seems
rather that of a friend, who, rather than showing a more clear reasoning
than Hamlet's , listens to and sympathizes with him. Also from a
dramaturgical point, besides being, as it is been said already, the one
who certifies the ghost is not just a Hamlet's mind's creation, allows
Hamlet to open his heart and tell his purposes to a second person and
not just to himself by monologuing.
But I have a question.
I read once that someone mantained that, from a metatheatral point,
Horatio, as the one who listens to Hamlet, shares his suspects, his
purposes and his feelings, may represent the audience. He gives the
audience a pattern of how to listen to Hamlet.
This opinion was mentioned by another scholar or writer, whose different
opinion was that Horatio represents rather the Author's shade.
To him Hamlet in fact entrusts his story to be told - and the play, in a
way, may be seen as the result of both what Horatio remembers as a
witness and what he invents or perhaps has been told by other witnesses.
This scholar (or writer) supported his opinion also with saying that
Shakespeare had been actually a sort of witness as a spectator of the
previous play on Hamlet (or just knowing it), so that his work in
building his new "Hamlet" was like Horatio's supposed one in rescuing
I do not remember this writer's name. I wonder if anyone on this list
can help me in finding it.
This came to my mind reading Clifford Stetner's question : <<Perhaps
his role has more to do with "oratio" than with "ratio?">>
I thought of the "oratio obliqua" as well as of the classic conception
of history as "opus oratorium" : Horatio may be seen as the one who
takes the task of reporting Hamlet's words and deeds (if we may say so)
in a high style .
Lucia Anna S.