Critical Lens: Loyalty is the test of a true friendship A true friendship is filled with though times, during these times loyalty is expressed and you learn who your true friends are. Life is all about ups and downs, the highs are high but the lows are even lower. Friends are the only things close enough to hold your feet to the ground and their loyalty is the sobering force in an otherwise hectic world. Both William Shakespeare s Hamlet and J. D Salinger s Catcher in the Rye show that loyalty is the test of a true friendship. Loyalty is expressed in many ways, one example is Horatio s friendship to Hamlet during his darkest hour.

Horatio is characterized as a loyal companion because his calm demeanor during Hamlets confused, angered and hurt moments. Throughout the play Horatio displays the tone of loyalty, Horatio comforts Hamlet in his time of need. For example, when Hamlet foreshadows his demise preceding the fencing match, Horatio helps him stand tall against all odds. This example proves that loyalty is the test of a true friendship. Holden Caulfield in J. D Salinger s Catcher in the Rye, is an example of a person characterized by depression.

Caulfield is the protagonist who has no one in the world to seek support from. Phoebe Caulfield, Holden s sister, is the rock that Holden seeks refuge with. From the storm of depression, Phoebe is the shelter. Phoebe is characterized as a person of infinite strength far greater then her years. Despite Holden s imperfections, suicide thoughts and negative attitude, Phoebe sticks by him, with unfathomable devotion and camaraderie. Her ability to charm him and understand his feelings marks her personality with a theme of compassion and true loyalty.

This loyalty is not only expressed by family, but the love which goes along with true friendship is proof of a true, indelible friendship. Loyalty is the true test of friendship. Throughout J. D Salinger's nove Catcher in the Rye, and Shakespeare s play Hamlet we can see that this quote is valid. Phoebe Caulfield and Horatio demonstrate the characteristics of true friendship. During the hard times, all we have to cling to is the knowledge that our friends will have the same loyalty as the protagonists in these works of literature..