This interaction is one of the MANY reasons why I love this (Asta Nielsen’s) version of Hamlet.
So yes, that is Hamlet (left) and Horatio (right), and in this version, Hamlet is secretly a woman who was raised as a man to protect the royal family’s legacy.
The movie, in a vain and desperate attempt to avoid any implications of homosexuality, goes w the idea that Hamlet was secretly in love w Horatio (which…yea), and only pretended to love Ophelia for the sake of appearances.
And that would be all well and heterosexual, but Nielsen’s performance isn’t really that of woman pretending to be a man.
Honestly, this Hamlet feels way more gender fluid than *just* male, or *just* female. There’s flashes of both femininity and masculinity in the performance, making the whole thing waaaaay unintentionally gayer (always fun).
So, in this version, we actually get to SEE Hamlet and Horatio meet at Wittenberg.
Like, they get this whole little meet-cute scene where Horatio drops his quill and they both go to pick it up and their heads bump together, like in a romcom (I swear I’m not making this up, you can watch it on YouTube if you don’t believe me), which then leads to the part your seeing above this, where Hamlet basically just eye fucks Horatio for an entire scene.
What a piece of work is man, indeed.