Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: a pair of schoolmates and childhood friends of Hamlet. They forget who they are quite often and most people speculate that even though that provides a sort of comedy to the play it's also because it really doesn't matter which is which because the two shall always revive that same fate and the same life. Rosencrantz is very simple minded and is okay with taking things at face value and letting other people think into it. Guildenstern is more of a thinker and worries what the consequences of an action will have on him and what the implications will be.
  • The Player: A traveling actor with his fair share of wits. He speaks of theatre being only about Love, Blood, and Rhetoric. Stating that everything must contain blood, that it is compulsory and that most things end in death. The player seems to like to do thing onstage that would normally happen off, like death, rape, sex, and torture and point out to the partners that he thinks of every exit somewhere is an entrance to somewhere else. He is often keeping tabs on the young boy Alfred (one of his tragedians) for a reason some say is because he and the boy have some sort of relationship going on behind the scenes.
  • Hamlet: the Prince of Denmark, nephew to Claudius. He seems to have a fairly minor role in the play, but still displays his usual quirkiness. Throughout the play he seems to be putting on a different face for different people much like what he does in the Shakespeare, and we see him play some of the scenes from that version.
  • Tragedians: traveling with the Player, including Alfred. They provide a chorus for the audience and react to specific things that the player says. He seems to have them all on strings and is often called a puppet master because of the way he controls them as well as everyone else in the play.
  • King Claudius: the King of Denmark, Hamlet's uncle and stepfather. Sends for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to glean what afflicts Hamlet then send the three off to England with a letter to the English king stating that as a favour to him and Denmark Hamlet be killed on the spot.
  • Gertrude: the Queen of Denmark, and Hamlet's mother. Is seen mostly worrying about her son but also displaying affection to her new husband. She switches from worrying to queenly and has seems to mix up Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from time to time.
  • Polonius: Claudius's chief adviser. He sees through most of Hamlet's lies and acts but doesn't care enough to bring it to too much attention. He is very fond of himself and tends to muscle his way into conversation. He tends to get very close to the king because he is of high enough status that he can do so. And he tends to brag about it too.
  • Ophelia: Polonius's daughter. She drifts across the stage from time to time, though no mention of her death is ever present in the play.
  • Horatio: a friend and schoolmate of Hamlet. He has the last line of the play in the scripted work, which is a direct quote from Hamlet. He says these lines as he is holding his dead friend.
  • Fortinbras: the nephew of the King of Norway. Appears at the end of the play to take over Denmark since the hierarchy has fallen.
  • Soldiers, courtiers, and musicians

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