Hamlet essay

Submitted By Luba-Kalstad
Words: 1383
Pages: 6

Luba Kalstad
January 12, 2015
World Lit: Period 1
Hamlet Essay Thesis: Because of their respect for the king and their concern from Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are clear victims in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet because they were unaware of the depth of madness in the royal family, which ultimately caused their death in the end. Someone who has been tricked, sabotaged or killed by another for his or her benefit or pleasure is a victim. Unfortunately for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern they were involved with two men who were willing to go as far as they needed to so they could get their own way. In addition, a victim is also someone who has been negatively affected by a bad situation. Hamlet is a story that is a series of bad situations and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were caught in the middle while trying to do the right thing. Lastly, a victim is also someone who is manipulated by a criminal. For Hamlet and King Claudius their status made it very easy to manipulate others and get away with criminal activity. When someone is king, they are very comfortable with the fact that others will obey and stay true to their word. The people obey not out of the goodness of their heart, but simply because of the king’s power. King Claudius is a king who is very comfortable with this power and knows how to get exactly what he wants from others. When seeing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for the first time after Claudius sent for them he said, “Some little time, so by your companies / to draw him on to pleasures, and to gather / so much as from occasion you may glean/” (2.214-16) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are being asked a favor by the king so they have to say yes. Their response is genuine and shows real concern for their old friend Hamlet’s well-being. Unfortunately for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, they are oblivious to what madness they are getting themselves into. Hamlet is an extremely difficult character, but one clear characteristic throughout the play is he is incredibly smart and quick on his feet. Hamlet knows almost instantly after talking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that they are not just here for a friendly reunion, they are here due to the king. Hamlet takes joy in watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern betray him as they continually lie saying that the king did not send them. Hamlet finally guilt’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern into spilling after he says;
But let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonance of our youth, by the obligation of our ever preserved love and by what more dear a better proposer can charge you withal: be even and direct with me whether you were sent for or no. (2.2.304-311)
What Rosencrantz and Guildenstern don’t know is that the reason for Hamlet’s madness is the king himself. This then puts Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on Hamlet’s bad list right away, but Hamlet never really makes this crystal clear to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but the two see that Hamlet is not happy with them. The king never puts a limit on how much he uses people. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are in the castle for a very long time, not that this wasn’t luxurious but their lives were essentially on hold for the king. The king was guiltless enough about his use of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he sent them to England to watch over Hamlet, knowing that Claudius had killed Hamlet’s father for the crown and queen. This hypothesis commences from Claudius’ rejection of God and confession in the church. While praying the king states, But, O, what form or prayer can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder?’ That cannot be, since I am still possessed of those effects for which I didn’t the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. (3.3.55-59)
The king has the power to know what is happening with Hamlet and he doesn’t want to miss a beat in case he needs to shut the prince up before he leaks any information. During all of this villainous planning from Claudius the King and