Old friend, the glimmer of light you shone upon us is gone, as we lay, cloaked in darkness now, devoid of your warmth. Your friends, your associates, your country, your passing has us confined to mourning, you left us far too soon. You are now free. Free of your burdens my friend. With your mother and father in heaven your sole will rest for all eternity, while hear on earth, storm clouds have gathered. Your presence is sorely missed.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, was a man whose life touched many others. Perhaps the poet and Earl of Oxford, Edward De Vere, put it best when he said love, loyalty and kindness were the very essence of Hamlet. Love, loyalty and kindness. His friends and family, his beloved country, his people – all who knew the man and experienced his aura had but the deepest respect for him.
Hamlet’s loyalty and love of his country was evident in all that he did. His military prowess and fluency with the sword always astonished me and his beautiful style amazed all those who had the opportunity to see him dual. His final dual against the late Laertes, perhaps best portrayed Hamlet’s elegant swordsmanship, a victory without losing a single point. A cheap shot from behind was the only way to bring Hamlet down it would seem. Hamlet’s wonderful ability to dual reflected his patriotism, as he mastered the art should he one day need to fight for his country. Perhaps the best indication of Hamlet’s love of his country shone bright at one of the darkest points of his life.
When Hamlet learned of his father’s death he was overcome by grief, even more so when he first learned that he was murdered by the late King Claudius. Despite this, Hamlet overcame his emotion and intense desire for revenge , waiting until evidence of the murder could be procured. Despite such tragic circumstances, Hamlet delayed plans for revenge in order to avoid any further disruptions to the natural order, as such disruptions would bear down upon his country. Now that we have lost him, Denmark will have to endure times of unrest.
His love of his country was only matched by his love of his family and friends. When Hamlet’s father passed away his love was such, that he spent weeks in inconsolable mourning. His love was such, that he could forgive his mother, the late Queen Gertrude, despite the incredible tension between them and his belief that she had betrayed his father. His love was such, that his greatest regret was not revealing it to his darling, the late Ophelia, whom he adored with all his heart. I had the honour of experiencing his love as his friend for many years. During our time at school in Wittenburg, Hamlet’s companionship made it one of the most enjoyable periods of my life. It was during periods of great turmoil and anguish, however, when I was able to be there for Hamlet, that he truly showed his love for me as a brother.
This kindness that Hamlet constantly showered on me was not just my unique privilege, but that of all people who met him. He had a definite interest in people and believed that all people were good people. This was why he had such difficulty in believing that his uncle Claudius could have murdered his father. His deep attraction to Ophelia, who was a symbol of beauty and innocence, showed his love of that which was good in the world. His readiness and want, to mix with all people, no matter whether they were nobles, players or commoners, he enjoyed the company of them all.
Love, loyalty and kindness. Hamlet, you will forever remain in our hearts. We shall never forget you. You are free now prince. You are free.