In act 2, how does Hamlet feel about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Why?

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It's important to note that at this point, Hamlet is feeling isolated and desperate for people whom he believes he can trust. He refers to Denmark as a "prison," indicating his sense of futility in changing the situation around him. He longs to know the truth about Claudius and is...

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It's important to note that at this point, Hamlet is feeling isolated and desperate for people whom he believes he can trust. He refers to Denmark as a "prison," indicating his sense of futility in changing the situation around him. He longs to know the truth about Claudius and is disgusted by his mother's behavior. Polonius reveals in this act that he has instructed Ophelia to reject Hamlet in every way, leaving Hamlet rather cut off from any sense of steadfast relationships.

When his old friends arrive, there is a sense that Hamlet is both happy to see them again and suspicious. He immediately begins questioning why they have arrived at precisely this moment, and they try to dodge his questions with half-answers such as "What should we say?" (II.ii.287). When Hamlet lays his cards on the table, telling them that he knows the king and queen have sent for them, they again dodge with "To what end?" (II.ii.292).

Hamlet's suspicions are confirmed. Hamlet also must be aware that if their king has summoned his friends, they are also required to do the king's bidding as his faithful and loyal subjects. Hamlet reminds Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the "obligation of our ever-preserved love" (II.ii.295), and the men eventually admit that they have indeed been summoned by Claudius.

Hamlet responds that he has "an eye of you" (II.ii.300). He welcomes them to court, but he is also fully aware that they are under advisement of his strongest adversary at this point: Claudius. He knows that he cannot trust the duo and must proceed cautiously with them.

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By the beginning of act 2, Hamlet has already reached the conclusion that there are few people he can trust. The appearance of his father's ghost and Hamlet's realization of what Claudius has done and questions about his mother's role in it has made him suspicious of everyone whom he had heretofore trusted.

In act 2, Hamlet looks askance at Ophelia, believing that Claudius's powerful reach and her own father's weakness has likely turned her into a tool to be used against him. It is to be expected then, that the sudden appearance of his classmates Rosencrantz and Guildenstern seems suspicious to him, as it well ought to be, given Claudius's employment of them as spies to try to ascertain Hamlet's state of mind. In greeting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet asks them directly

what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?

He wants to know why they have come to Denmark, which he likens to a prison. Unsatisfied with their answer, he asks again,

But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?

He continues to press them, asking "Were you not sent for?" They then confess that Hamlet is correct, that they have been sent for by his mother and stepfather.

Hamlet knows that the two are weak and cannot be trusted, but also that he can perhaps turn the tables and use them to his own advantage. He will use them to convince Claudius that he is mad, and therefore put himself in a position where he will be underestimated as he works to do his late father's bidding and bring justice to his murderer.

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At the beginning of act 2, scene 2, Claudius welcomes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the Danish court. He asks them, as Hamlet's friends, to stay in Elsinore awhile and keep an eye on him, reporting back on any strange behavior that they might notice. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern accept this invitation, though I'm not sure if they could actually decline it if they wished to.

When they first reunite with Hamlet, the three friends share some lewd jokes, but when Hamlet asks them "What news?" things begin to go downhill. Though there must be some reason that these two friends have come to Denmark, never having visited Hamlet before nor having been invited by him, they tell him that they really have no news and nothing much is going on. This is Hamlet's first clue that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been sent for, and he asks them as much:

Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining?  Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal justly with me. Come, come. Nay, speak.

He asks them for the truth and Guildenstern admits that he doesn't really know what to say. Hamlet correctly guesses that "the good king and queen have sent for [them]," but they don't tell him why. He explains that they were likely sent for because he's been out of sorts lately, not feeling like himself, but generally feeling like things are depressing and bad. Soon, the acting troop arrives and distracts him from the newly arrived friends.  

Thus, in this act, Hamlet is already a bit suspicious of his friends; he works out fairly quickly that they've come at the behest of his uncle, but he seems pretty confident that they don't have the wits to keep anything from him for long. Later, he will grow a great deal more angry with them, and he will eventually plan for their murders, believing that they were in on the king's plan to murder him. For now, though, Hamlet doesn't seem terribly upset with them, but content to sort of keep an eye on them (while they keep one on him).

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Hamlet senses that they are mimetic.  That is, they are feigning concern for him and play act as they speak to Hamlet, replying in non-commital phrases such as "Happy in that we are not over-happy" (II.ii.221). When Hamlet inquires of them the purpose of their visit, Guildenstern asks, "What shoud we say, my lord?" suggesting again their acting.  Hamlet replies,

Anything but to th' purpose.  You were sent for, and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to color....(II.ii.265)

Hamlet realizes that his two friends are not being true to him; instead, they are acting under the pretense of concern for him in order to learn what they can about Hamlet's feelings and thoughts so that they can report to the king and queen.

(Links to two other questions on Guilderstern and Rosencrantz are listed below)

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