The Narrative of Horatio (digital download)

The Narrative of Horatio (digital download)

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The Narrative of Horatio (digital download)

This downloadable PDF contains extracts from the "full" text of Hamlet, creating an abbreviated play with the character of Horatio, rather than Hamlet, at its center. Read more about this special text: 

The Horatio narrative is not lengthy, and might be overlooked but for the fact that it provides one of three perspectives of Prince Hamlet: those of his mother (Gertrude), his love (Ophelia), and his friend (Horatio). The Horatio narrative begins with Horatio’s discussion with the guards who have seen the ghost. The narrative needs some additional textual device to emphasize that this is the narrative of Horatio.

One possible solution is having Horatio deliver as prologue seven of the lines that he delivers near the end of the play in Act V Scene 2.

Horatio as Prologue

So shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, Of deaths put on by cunning and forc’d cause, And in this upshot, purposes mistook,
Fall’n on the inventor’s heads. All this can I Truly deliver.

The statement, All this can I truly deliver, puts readers on notice that they are about to learn of events as witnessed and experienced by Horatio. Individual directors will add and delete passages depending on staging emphasis. The editors are indebted to theater students Nicole Gellman, Teagan Rose, and Elias Wygodny for the discussions which produced this deft solution and other creative approaches. 

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