What is Horatio doing in this scene?
Why is he here? Why is he with Gertrude? And why is he giving her political advice? Hamlet’s been sent to England – so Horatio is no longer in the Danish court as Hamlet’s friend. He could have allied himself with the Queen as a way to help Hamlet while he’s gone. But he could ALSO have been sent for, just like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He could be a spy. Just a much better one than Rosencrantz and Guildenstern ever were.
What if Horatio is just as ambitious as anyone else and is aiming at a Polonius type job? What if he’s working an advisor-to-the-king type job in whatever court he can find his way into? What if he’s NOT Hamlet’s true friend – as he is so often thought of – but as ambitious a climber as Macbeth?
When he tells the story to Fortinbras at the end…it could be an attempt to find his way into the new court there at Elsinore.
I don’t meant to sully Horatio’s good name but I am really baffled about his presence in this scene and this manner of speaking to the Queen.