In Hamlet, how are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern loyal to Claudius?  

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, two of Hamlet's childhood friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, "being of so young days brought up with him," are asked by Hamlet's uncle, King Claudius, to find out why Hamlet is moping around the castle all the time and to "glean" what might be troubling him other than the death of his father.

Queen Gertrude tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that Hamlet often talks about them—which probably isn't true—and that if they can find out what Claudius wants to know about Hamlet, they "shall receive such thanks / As fits a king's remembrance." In other words, they can expect a handsome reward for their efforts.

From that point forward, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are absolutely loyal and true only to themselves.

When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern meet Hamlet later in the same scene, Hamlet isn't fooled for a minute about their reason for being at Elsinore. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern do some serious tap-dancing around Hamlet's question, "Were you sent for?" Then they...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 944 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 30, 2019