“Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” Essay

November 13, 2020 by Essay Writer

“Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” are two plays. There is a definite connection between them, but it goes beyond the mere obvious drama of death. Both plays have a common theme of a surreal world where people are objects ruled by a higher and unknown force. Even though these works of art were created in a deem and distant past, they still can be attributed to the modern times.

The link of “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” to the present days can be seen in the lost characters. People are often unaware of their point in life and how to define own goals and dreams. Just like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern feel lost and are unaware of their purpose, so do people in the modern society. With such a vast amount of information people begin doing something, only to realize that their actions were pointless and unclear, so they begin doing something else.

The same is seen in the characters from the play, as they are not sure of why or where they are going. Several times, they thought about working out their destination, deciding to change the course of their lives, only to later give up and say that there is no point in life. They choose a path that forcefully takes them there, and they have neither strength nor want to decide anything for themselves (Shakespeare, 1987).

The two plays have a lot of parallels, but they are different kinds of tragedy. “Hamlet” is based on the feud within a family. Hamlet is torn apart by the recent events, and everything that follows springs from his anger and the need for revenge. Most of the time, the mood of the play is depressing and sad, as people become marionettes of greed and other people’s selfishness. “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” is a much different type of tragedy, as these two individuals are very sneaky, fake, seemingly kind and understanding.

Hamlet realizes the fact that his two “friends” act out of someone else’s will and he treats the situation accordingly. Two of his oldest friends cannot even begin to understand the reasons for Hamlet’s feelings because they themselves are not sure what is going on in their lives and minds (Shakespeare, 1987).

In the closing scenes, both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern end up unhappy and unlucky. The whole play they are unhappy, as events seem to collide, they cause them great confusion and grief. In the course of the play, they become more miserable with each act, so they reach the finish completely in loss of control over their lives and their individualities.

They are unlucky because every time they want to make something out of the situation, they appear as losers and are left with less than they had before. The drama of their fate is their absence from reality. They do not know what is going on, even when they directly participate in an event. They are unlucky because they do not know any of Hamlet’s secrets and plans. The fact that the letters got switched up, makes them even more unlucky and more unhappy.

The two plays have been intertwined in an interesting and provocative way. The message of both masterpieces is clear, as people must learn about themselves before going out into the big word and influencing or manipulating others.


Shakespeare, W. (1987). Hamlet. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Nelson Thornes.

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