Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
"Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" (2.2.1).
|Nick Rowe and James Wallace as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,|
in Tom Stoppard's
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead.
The King tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he wants them to find out what's wrong with Hamlet. [Scene Summary]
"My honor'd lord!" (2.2.222).
This is Guildenstern's greeting as he and Rosencrantz approach Hamlet in their quest to find out what's wrong with him, so that they can report back to the King. [Scene Summary]
"He does confess he feels himself distracted; / But from what cause he will by no means speak" (3.1.5-6),
says Rosencrantz in response to the King's question about what they've discovered about Hamlet. Of course, Guildenstern is there, too and says the same sort of thing as Rosencrantz does. [Scene Summary]
"Will you two help to hasten [the players]?" (3.2.50).
Thus Hamlet dismisses Rosencrantz and Guildenstern just before the performance of The Murder of Gonzago
. Later in the scene, the "two" want "a word" (3.2.296)
with Hamlet to tell him that his mother wants to speak with him and to try--once again--to figure out what's wrong with him. [Scene Summary]
"Most holy and religious fear it is / To keep those many many bodies safe / That live and feed upon your majesty" (3.3.8-10),
says Guildenstern to the King. This is just after the King has told Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that they have the job of taking Hamlet to England, where he won't be a threat to the King. [Scene Summary]
Hamlet describes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as "my two schoolfellows, / Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd" (3.4.202-203),
when he explains to his mother that he must go to England with them. [Scene Summary]
"Bestow this place on us a little while" (4.1.4),
says the Queen to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, thus sending them out of the room before she tells the King that Hamlet has killed Polonius. Later in the scene, the King calls them back, tells them what Hamlet has done, and sends them after Hamlet and the body of Polonius. [Scene Summary]
"What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?" (4.2.5),
Rosencrantz asks Hamlet, in the scene during which Hamlet calls Rosencrantz a "sponge" and runs away from his two "friends." [Scene Summary]
"Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord, / We cannot get from him" (4.3.13-14),
says Rosencrantz to the King about Hamlet. Meanwhile, Guildenstern is in the next room, with Hamlet and the soldiers who are guarding him. After Hamlet's entrance, the two say nothing, but at the end of the scene the King tells them to make sure Hamlet gets on board the ship to England. [Scene Summary]
"Wilt please you go, my lord?" (4.4.30),
Rosencrantz asks Hamlet, just before Hamlet's fourth soliloquy. This is Rosencrantz's only line in the scene, and editors just assume that Guildenstern is also on stage. [Scene Summary]
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England: of them I have much to tell thee" (4.6.27-29)
Hamlet writes to Horatio, after he has returned to Denmark on a pirate ship. Later, we learn that Hamlet has sent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in England. [Scene Summary]
"My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark / Groped I to find out them; had my desire. / Finger'd their packet. . . ." (5.2.13-15).
Thus Hamlet describes to Horatio how he stole the commission for his own death. For that commission he substituted one that ordered the King of England to put Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to death, but says that because they "did make love to this employment; / They are not near my conscience" (5.2.57-58).
Near the end of the scene, the English Ambassadors arrive with the news that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, but they don't receive the thanks they expected from the King, because he didn't order their execution and because he's dead. [Scene Summary]