- Shakespeare, William
- 1564 - 1582: William Shakespeare's Stratford Beginnings
- 1582 - 1592: William Shakespeare's Marriage, Parenthood and Early Occupation
- 1592 - 1594: William Shakespeare's Life In London, part 1
- 1594 - 1611: William Shakespeare's Life In London, part 2
- 1594 - 1611: William Shakespeare's Life In London, part 3
- 1611 - 1616: William Shakespeare - Back to Stratford
- Walpole, Horace
- Social / political context
- Religious / philosophical context
- The Theatre
- Act I
- Act II
- Act III
- Act IV
- Act V
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Betrayal of Hamlet
In spite of their childhood friendship with Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are rapidly drawn into Elsinore's web of intrigue and spying. They have no scruples in spying on Hamlet for Claudius even though Gertrude tells them that:
And sure I am, two men there is not living
To who he more adheres.'
‘Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?'
When he discovers they are taking him to his death, he is content to use these plans against them:
They are not near my conscience, their defeat
Does by their own insinuation grow.'
- Did they know what was in the letter to the King of England?
- or, through their willingness to flatter and serve Claudius, were they further victims of his villainy?
Yet again, Shakespeare leaves his audience to decide.
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