Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: longtime friends and former schoolmates of Hamlet
Voltemand and Cornelius: sent by Claudius as ambassadors to King of Norway
The Players: traveling actors hired to perform at the castle
King Claudius and Queen Gertrude receive Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, childhood friends of Hamlet, who agree to visit him and seek the cause of Hamlet’s “transformation” (line 5). Polonius enters to announce the arrival of Voltemand and Cornelius from Norway, and to say that he believes he has found the “very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy” (line 49). However, he delays revealing the information until the...
(The entire section is 2573 words.)