R and G

643 Words3 Pages
There is a reason why books are often remembered by a few famous scenes within them. In Tom Stoppard’s epic poem Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, there are multiple scenes that are both hilarious and gripping. One remarkable scene that lives on in memory and is essential to the play was when Claudius and Queen Gertrude were unable to distinguish between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in their first meeting in Act One. This scene is used to show how these two protagonists are interchangeable and insignificant as individuals. It was unwise for the king and queen to choose such simple minded individuals to get information out of the much smarter character of Hamlet. The insignificance and interchangeability of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in highlighted throughout the play and leads to the inevitable failure of their mission. In attempt to understand what the cause of Hamlet’s supposed madness is, King Claudius enlists Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to get information out of him. Although one would think that a King would hire men that he knows and trusts for a job like this, he is unable to even distinguish between the two insignificant men upon their arrival. This is seen in the poem’s stage direction and when Claudius says: “Welcome, dear Rosencrantz… (he raises a hand at Guildenstern while Rosencrantz bows- Guildenstern bows late and hurriedly) …and Guildenstern” (35). The simple men are just as confused about their identities as the King is which suggests that they are in fact simple minded and unintelligent. Even before their mission starts, this scene helps show how it is painfully obvious that these men are not up to the task to decipher Hamlet’s shrewd intellect. It was irresponsible for the king to leave his spying up ... ... middle of paper ... ... and Guildenstern in their first meeting in Act One prove that the men will fail their mission before it even starts. Unintelligent and constantly unsure of themselves, it is obvious that these men are no match for Hamlet or any other character for that matter right from the beginning. The confusion experienced in this memorable scene is constantly repeated throughout the play in many different situations which shows the insignificance of the men as individuals. As a unit, they act as Claudius’ minions who have a difficult time making decisions for themselves. Since the initial meeting between the Ambassadors and Denmark’s royalty initiates many recurring events throughout the play, the scene is very effective and crucial for the play’s development. It was also effective for Stoppard to create this scene since it has been memorable for many readers throughout time.
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