Hamlet’s closest friend and most trusted confidant. Horatio wants to help Hamlet get to the root of his father’s loss and take vengeance upon his murderer, but as Hamlet descends into inaction, volatility, and apparent madness, Horatio worries that Hamlet is getting in too deep and tries to warn his friend against risking his reputation and safety. Horatio urges Hamlet not to go through with the duel against Laertes, a warning that proves to be legitimate in the end, as Laertes’s plot with Claudius ends up killing Hamlet along with Gertrude and Laertes and Claudius themselves. While Hamlet is dying after Laertes stabs him with a poisoned sword, Horatio contemplates committing suicide by drinking from the same cup of poisoned wine Hamlet used to kill Claudius, demonstrating the deep loyalty he feels for Hamlet and his despair over losing his friend. However, Hamlet prevents Horatio from doing so, urging him to live on and share the truth of Hamlet’s story with the world.