Hamlet: R & G

Hamlet: Why, man, they did make love to this employment. They are not near my conscience. (Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2.)

Act 2. Scene 2. Is it Halloween? If not, then why is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern showing up for treat-or-treat? And in those costumes too. They are dressed in white faces, a coxcomb of peacock feathers on their heads, white shirts and red bow ties with purple polka dots, and red and white striped pants. The king and queen had never seen anything like it. It took their breath away.

Bumblers extraordinary. Think Laurel & Hardy or Abbott & Costello. A couple of wild and crazy guys. The Blues Brothers, Jake & Elmo, or Zorro & Sgt. Gonzalez. Crosby & Hope without Dorothy Lamorr. Dumb and Dumber could have taken lessons from these two guys. They were so wild and crazy they got their own play.

One is tall and the other short just like Mutt and Jeff. R & G were the original Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They are inseparable, these two.

The trumpets trumpet. The drums drum. And there they are bowing before King Claude.

Claude is the first to speak. Of course, the king is always the first to speak. “Hey, Dudes.”

“Your Magnanimousness.” We are not sure who speaks. Is it Rosencrantz or is it Guildenstern? No one is ever sure. Not even R & G. It’s like Freddy Mercury sings, “Anyway the wind blows doesn’t really matter.” So why should it matter which is Twiddledee and which Tweedledum?

“We are impressed with your court ettiquette,” King speaks his approval of the boys in those costumes.

Queen Gertie giggles, then makes the vote unanimous. Not that Claudius needs any backup. Claude looks over at the queen and gives her one of those looks. You know the kind of look I am talking about.

Just who are R and G which I will refer to as R and G hence. Hence is another way of saying “from now on.” Kind of like etc. They are Witties just like Hamlet. Fraternity brothers at the University of Wittenberg. A couple of fun guys who were the life of the party. No matter the frown on the Hamster’s face, they could always get a chuckle out of him.

“So what brings you two fine fellows to our court?” Claudius asks.

“We got your note,” R answers or it could be G.

“Oh, that’s right,” Claudius pretends to remember. “I must get off that viagara. It is really affecting my memory.”

“If we can grant it, Your Magnanimousness, we shall grant your desire. Not the desire to get off viagara. But the other desire. The one that brought us here in the first place.”

Claudius smiled down upon the two. This was what he liked to hear. It was morning, the birds were singing, and he had two yes-men before him. What more could a king want?

“If you insist,” Claudius said, “I have one teensy weensy favor to ask. I would like you to visit with Hamlet. Find out what he’s feeling so blue about. He won’t tell the queen and I. You’re such good friends with the boy. I know you can get it out of him. You were his boyhood friends.”

“Gladly, Your Magnanimousness.”

“Then go to him. And report everything,” the king says, “to me. Now run along and do your duty. And make your king proud.”

The two bow and back out of the big room.