Rosencrantz, along with Guildenstern, is a childhood friend of Hamlet's. After being summoned to the court, they attempt to get to the bottom of Hamlet's strange behavior. Rosencrantz tends to be more lighthearted than Guildenstern and is less concerned with understanding the reasoning behind the circumstances they are caught up in. Whereas Guildenstern ponders big philosophical questions, Rosencrantz is more interested in distraction. He often suggests games, and when Guildenstern is troubled, Rosencrantz tries to make his friend happy.
Like Rosencrantz, Guildenstern is a childhood friend of Hamlet's. He is more introspective than Rosencrantz and more unsettled by the strange things that happen to them, which he sees as bad omens of cosmic proportion. At times he seems overwhelmed by the grand, existential questions that their predicament raises. Despite his distinctly Renaissance and Enlightenment attitude that he can understand the world around him, he is the last person to come to an understanding of the fate that awaits him.