Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Character List


Rosencrantz's best friend. He is the more pessimistic of the titular duo; he attempts to keep a level head, and to reason through their existential crisis.


Guildenstern's best friend. He is optimistic, simple-minded, and easily distracted, and often takes his emotional and intellectual cues form Guildenstern.


The head of a starving group of traveling tragedians that seems to follow Ros and Guil throughout the play.


The only member of the tragedians who is given a name. He usually plays female roles.


The group of actors hired by Hamlet to perform in Elsinore. Their destitution reduces them to prostitution.


The prince of Denmark and an old schoolmate of Ros and Guil. The duo are summoned to spy on Hamlet, as his sanity has fallen into question as a result of his uncle having married his mother after killing his father, the former king.


The daughter of Polonius and the sister of Laertes. Once a prospective bride of Hamlet's, she is driven to despair by his treatment of her.


The king of Denmark, and Hamlet's uncle and stepfather. He has killed his brother, the former king, and has married his brother's wife, claiming the throne in Hamlet's absence. It is he who sends for Ros and Guil.


The queen of Denmark and Hamlet's mother. She is distressed by Hamlet's odd behavior, but remains unaware of her husband's evil motives.


An old and bumbling but good-intentioned advisor to the king. He is accidentally killed by Hamlet.