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 is he’s working as an advisor to the king type role 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.