Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Does deception lead to the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? If so, how? My essay is about how deception leads to death, but I need another character aside from Hamlet and Cladius that this can apply to.

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From a purely factual standpoint I would say that the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are a result of deception: Hamlet steals the command for his death and rewrites it to command the death of "the bearers of this note," and then without a moments remorse, Hamlet puts the note back in their possession. He has clearly deceived his friends with the note and they end up dead in England because of that.

On a more philosophical note, I would also add that because they try to deceive Hamlet in regards to their true purposes and intents in coming to Denmark, they are guilty of deception, and from that, Hamlet loses his trust in their past friendship, thus allowing Hamlet to take such drastic action as he does. They brought upon themselves their death by their failure to be honest and loyal to Hamlet, rather looking to put themselves in a good position with King Claudius and hoping for "a king's remembrance" or reward from him for their doing his bidding. They very clearly show where their loyalty lies in Acts 3 and 4 when they actively speak against Hamlet and specifically kiss-up to Claudius as a means to ensure Claudius's favor.

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