The Value of Comanionship
Katie Hemion, Division 2, 11th grade #ws18e-s1d2

In every great story, there are heroes and villains; sidekicks and minions; lovers and destroyers; families and strangers. While a protagonist leads the story forward, they could never do it without support and encouragement. This is why, if I had the choice to be any character in a work of fiction, I would choose to be Horatio from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Horatio is an inspiration because of his calm rationality, undying loyalty, and compassion that make him the epitome of the “loyal friend” archetype.

From the beginning of the play, peers approached Horatio when they needed help to address a situation, and his rationality and intelligence were an integral part of his identity. From his first appearance when the apparition of Hamlet’s father appeared, Horatio was asked to speak to it and trusted to do the right thing. Time after time, Hamlet entrusted Horatio with his ideas and plans, and Horatio never once lost his wits. In a situation as complicated as Horatio’s, I would like the capability of keeping my calm and to have the acumen necessary to address any predicament. Compared to others, his admirable poise and rationality trumped those of any other character. If I could be a fictional character, being intelligent, insightful, and calm would be crucial to my identity. While he may have been a foil character to Hamlet, Horatio was just as important, if not moreso. He refused to be the reckless man his best friend was. Because he thought through every conflict, Horatio was a valuable friend; I would like to emulate his intelligence in all I do so that I can help my loved ones in any ways possible.

In addition to his rationality, Horatio was also the most loyal character in the play, and if I could be a fictional character, I would want steadfast relationships like Horatio’s. His fierce loyalty and unwavering bond to Hamlet make Horatio, undoubtedly, the best companion in fiction. Frequently, Horatio was the first, and sometimes only, person that Hamlet trusted with his innermost thoughts. This trust is evidence of his long-standing loyalty. At last, Horatio’s loyalty peaked in the final scene: as Hamlet is dying, Horatio stays with him to the end, and even considers drinking poison to die with him. The tragic moments that Horatio lived through brought him to a time of grief, but he continued on to spread the truth and legacy of the person he cares most about. I would like to be Horatio, above any other, because of his tenacious loyalty. Again and again, he showed his true colors as a loyal companion. I would be proud to have a similar level of devotion to the important people in my life. If I was a fictional character, loyalty to loved ones would be the most important characteristic. Out of any fictional world, I would need to be someone inherently good; Horatio’s loyalty makes him an obvious choice. I aim to live my life as loyally as I can, and Horatio has no lapses in his devotion, making him the best role model in fiction.

To further his loyal motivations, Horatio was driven by a will to do good by others and positive outlook on the world around him, which I would be proud to live by. Throughout the play, Horatio was at Hamlet’s side, and was exactly who Hamlet needed. While some people saw him as a prince with power and others saw him as an unstable threat, Horatio always knew what Hamlet truly was: human. I strive to perceive others as authentically as I can throughout my life, and to avoid unnecessary judgements of others. I hope that when my friends and family need me, I can live up to what is necessary to support them through any situation. Horatio also kept his respect for Hamlet while still giving the valuable insight and emotional support he needed in the situation. A core piece of his personality was that he could always see the best in others, especially Hamlet. One of the most important concepts to me is looking for the best in others. In a world that is so quick to judge, I always want to be able to find the good in people. I try my best to keep a positive outlook on life, and that is why I admire Horatio so much. I would be happy to live with the same optimism that drives Horatio. Optimism is important, especially because I will be going out into the adult world soon, and I hope that it is something I can always carry with me. While I have never been in a situation as dire and dangerous as Horatio’s, I hope that through all of my future experiences I will be able to show the same kind of compassion that he had for Hamlet to all of my loved ones and share empathy with everyone I meet. Out of every movie, television show, or book, I believe Horatio’s deep goodness makes him the most respectable characters ever created.

If I had the choice to be any character from a movie, television show, or book, I would not hesitate to pick Horatio from Hamlet. From the first time I read the play to the hours of film interpretations that have enthralled me, Horatio has stood out to me as a phenomenal character. I have long been inspired by his consistent rationality, loyalty, and compassion, and I strive to live my life by the same core beliefs he did. While I may live in our reality, Horatio’s story will always inspire me to live my best life. Out of the vast collection of fiction, Horatio is a clear choice for the best fictional character to live as.
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