anonymous asked:

i've been thinking a lot about something I read recently about Hamlet, and I was wondering if you could help me understand? there's apparently something significant about the you/thee pronouns which Hamlet and Horatio use for each other, but I can't quite grasp what that might be, or how it's significant.

I’m not certain what it said on what you read, but the long and short of the difference between you and thou pronouns is that ‘thee’ implies either intimacy or that the person being addressed is of a lower rank. Check out this post I made ages ago about conjugations.

As regards Hamlet… Generally, Horatio addresses Hamlet as ‘My Lord’, and therefore as ‘you’, which is fitting since it shows a recognition of the difference in rank. Hamlet switches quite freely between ‘you’ and ‘thou’ when addressing Horatio (more ‘you’ at the beginning of the play and ‘thou’ towards the end), which he can because Horatio is of a lower rank than him, though not low enough to be entirely a ‘thou’ from start to end. This does make it difficult to tell whether Hamlet is expressing intimacy through the analysis of pronouns alone… Although lines like 

Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave and I will wear him
In my heart’s core – ay, in my heart of heart –
As I do thee (3.2.67-70)

help a lot. Given the circumstantial evidence, the switch from the initial ‘you’ to the more familiar ‘thou’ is most likely a reflection of his closeness and regard for Horatio’s friendship than an assertion of rank. A good contrast might be Rosencrantz and Guildernstern, who seem to be of a similar standing to Horatio in rank, but who are addressed by Hamlet as ‘you’ throughout. 

Still, in spite of Hamlet’s apparent affection for Horatio, Horatio tends to keep up formalities (and given Hamlet’s general obsession with rank this might be one of the things that endear him to Horatio). The one time Horatio does use ‘thou’ is once Hamlet can no longer hear him, in his final ‘Good night, sweet prince, / And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’ (5.2.343-44), which suggests a degree of intimacy, or personal grief at Hamlet’s death, which is not about rank.

So it’s a small thing, but the pronoun difference can say a lot about a relationship. 

I met Daniel Radcliffe at his production of ‘Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are dead’. I had a slight disconnection of the mouth from the brain but he’s really nice and was really patient taking time signing things with fans and taking photos. Best night ever!

the Hamlet-Horatio fic with the kettle that I said I would write

A scream from down the hallway blasted the Latin revision from Horatio’s mind. He stared at his dorm door, decided he would ignore the sound, and then a frantic hammering started on the other side.


He opened the door on Rozencrantz and Guildernstern, who looked terrified, but also drunk. He gave them A Look.

“Listen, Rozencrantz-“


“-Guildenstern. What the fuck’s happening?”

“We came in and we’re drunk, and the kettle- Roze wanted some- Hamlet’s dead!”

Horatio drummed his fingers on the doorframe. Hamlet was that posh bastard who bragged about not being able to boil an egg, and then took the piss out of Horatio for using instant coffee. Hadn’t even asked what his name was. It was obviously a wind-up.

“Not in the mood, guys. I’m really-”

“He’s dead!” Rozencrantz hissed. “Literally dead! And you’re- you’re the clever one!”

Horatio had a test on Monday. He glared at Rozencrantz. He grabbed his room key from the hook.


Hamlet was piled in a heap on the kitchen floor, motionless. Horatio went to him.

He laid Hamlet on his side, and as the lights flickered into life, his stomach dropped when he saw the guy’s face was bluish.

“Jesus shit. Have you called 999?”

Rozencrantz’ eyes widened.

“I told you he was fucking clever, Guilders!”

And he ran out. Horatio’s fingers scrabbled for Hamlet’s pulse. He grabbed a towel hanging off the oven door and rolled it up.

“Hamlet.” He said loudly, “Hamlet, if you can speak, Hamlet, speak to me. Or- or- or make some sort of sign.” He checked for breathing.

Guildernstern hopped from foot to foot behind him.

“Stop it, Guilders!” He hissed.

“Can I do something?” Guildernstern burst out, “I want to do something, mate?”

“Get a glass of water or something, and shut up, I need to concentrate.”

Horatio laid Hamlet on his back, put the rolled up towel under the back of his neck, and knelt at his side.

He took a breath, and clasped his hands on top of Hamlet’s chest.

Rozencrantz nearly bumped into Guildernstern when he came back with the phone.

“Yeah. Yeah.” He was saying into it. “No- we- our friend, yeah, he’s sober, and he’s doing the pumping chest whatsit. Seems to know what he’s doing? Usually does. We’re up at the uni-“

Hamlet inhaled loudly. Horatio nearly jumped out of his skin.


“Ffffffuck.” Hamlet coughed. “Fuck.”

“Hamlet, stay- stay with us. Stay.”

Horatio held out his hand, Guildernstern went over and passed him the water.

“Hamlet, if there’s anything I can do to make this easier, you need to let me know. Can you sit up? Can I help you sit up?”

Hamlet didn’t protest, so Horatio sat and supported him.

“Who’s there?” Hamlet mumbled into his chest.

“Friends. Roze, Guilders. Oh- I’m Horatio. We sort of haven’t met.”

“Horatio? What a stupid name.”

“Thank you, Hamlet.”

“Give me the cup.”

But he could barely move, and Horatio noticed burn marks on his hands. He glanced at the counter and noticed a pool of water, with a peeling cable in the middle of it, connected to the kettle. Didn’t need his grandfather to materialise in the sky to make sense of it.

He helped Hamlet drink. Both their breathings returned to more normal rates, and sirens wailed in the distance.

BONUS (for nerds):

“Er, sorry, is he alright now?”

Everyone glanced up at the new voice. Another student, in pyjamas, stood at the kitchen door.

“Yeah. Basically fine.” Horatio said. “Paramedics should be along in a bit.”

“That’s incredible.” The student said. “I mean, he was- he was definitely-“

“Yeah, mate, it’s ok. You can go back to bed now.” Horatio vaguely remembered this guy. Weird surname.

“Like- he was dead,” The unknown persisted. “-like dead. And you made him alive.”

“Listen, James-“

“John. John F-”

“John. I’m a bit stressed right now. It’s not magic. You can probably learn it yourself.”

“Right.” John said. “Out of books?”

“Can do.”

“Right.” John said. “Wicked.”


@percyhotspur @runecestershire @dark-haired-hamlet @bowieboosh @theacelombax @season-a-day-kind-of-fan @thestereotypebuster @her-madjesty @javagirl98 because you guys responded to the post i made about this

Happy birthday from Guildernstern, Princess of Darkness! (That’s her formal name, she goes by “Princess”, or “hey, small fuzzy idiot” mostly.)