Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Character Analysis
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Friends of Hamlet's from Wittenberg who help Claudius and Gertrude try and figure out the source of Hamlet's melancholy. Hamlet sees that the two are, essentially, spying on him, and turns on them. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern aren't the smartest fellows, but they do seem to mean well, and the announcement of their deaths at the end of the play helps to drive home the absurd and bloody lengths to which vengeance can extend once it is unleashed.
The Hamlet quotes below are all either spoken by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern or refer to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Hamlet published in 1992.).
Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me. You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery ... 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.
The timeline below shows where the character Rosencrantz and Guildenstern appears in Hamlet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, scene 2
Act 3, scene 1
Act 3, scene 2
Act 3, scene 3
Act 4, scene 1
Act 4, scene 2
Act 4, scene 3
Act 4, scene 4
Act 4, scene 6
...attacked Hamlet's ship. Hamlet was taken prisoner and returned to Denmark for a ransom, while Rosencrantz and Guildenstern continue on to England. Horatio is to send the sailors to Claudius, and... (full context)
Act 5, scene 2