The Loyal Friend of Prince Hamlet

by Richard W. Coan



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/10/2006

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 164
ISBN : 9781425946593
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 164
ISBN : 9781425946609
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : E-Book
Page Count : 164
ISBN : 9781425946289

About the Book

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Horatio is a trusted friend who serves as a sounding board for the prince. But who is Horatio? How did he meet the prince? How does he view the people and events in the royal household? And what does he seek for himself in life?

The events in Shakespeare’s play take on fresh meaning when seen from the perspective of characters other than the prince himself. In this novel, Horatio has a life of his own. We see him as a sensitive, scholarly man who dreams, falls in love, struggles with fear, and pursues his own course of action. What he sees and does affects life in the castle, but he knows that his own destiny lies elsewhere.

The son of a Danish cloth merchant, he has grown up in Copenhagen. He goes to the University of Paris to pursue his interest in philosophy. Some stormy exchanges leave him disenchanted, and he moves to the University of Wittenberg, where he develops a friendship with Hamlet and Marcellus. Learning of the death of his father, Hamlet returns to Elsinore. Knowing he must also return soon, Marcellus urges Horatio to come with him.

Sharing quarters in the city with two royal guards, Horatio spends much time at the castle. A young lady catches his eye, and a passionate romance begins to flourish. But he also has a succession of encounters with a shrewd and devious courtier, whom he suspects of seeking to manipulate events in the royal household. Ultimately faced with dire events he cannot control, he looks forward to a better life far from the castle.

About the Author

Richard W. Coan is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology and resides in Tucson, Arizona.

As a child he began composing music and writing stories and poems. Though drawn to the arts, he was also intrigued by the puzzles of human consciousness, the sense of personal identity, and the varied idiosyncrasies of the people he knew. His search for understanding led to a career in psychology. At both the University of California and the University of Southern California, he pursued graduate studies leading to a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1955.

As a professor at the University of Arizona he specialized in personality theory and measurement. His published articles and books cover such topics as the evolution of consciousness, the optimal personality, masculinity/femininity, child personality, patterns of orientation among psychologists, and trends in psychological theory. His interests include Jungian theory, the psychology of religion, Eastern thought, and archetypal symbolism in myths, tales, and dreams.

As a psychologist, he came to appreciate both the value and the limitations of scientific theory and research as tools for understanding. He recognized that poets and novelists can often highlight questions and puzzles of human existence that psychology as a discipline avoids dealing with directly. At times poetry and fiction provide deep insights that complement and augment those offered by psychological research.

Throughout his academic career and in retirement, he has continued writing poetry and composing music. In recent years he has written three novels:

(1) A Princess for Larkin

(2) Shaul of Tarsos: The Man Who Came to be Known as Saint Paul

(3) Horatio: The Loyal Friend of Prince Hamlet