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

Expert Answers info

David Alberts, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Kent State University

bookM.A. from West Virginia State University

bookPh.D. from Bowling Green State University


calendarEducator since 2019

write544 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

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.)

Unlock This Answer Now










check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Holly McGlynn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write867 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History















check Approved by eNotes Editorial