When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be dry again.

This is actually a bit of good advice for Rosencrantz, if only he could heed it. I suspect that Hamlet has a lot of insight into how Claudius operates. He’s known him his whole life and he has likely seen this very pattern in action before. He knows what happens to people who suck up to Claudius.

And Rosencrantz has bet on the wrong horse here. He’s chosen to ally with Claudius. This makes me wonder what would have happened if Rosencrantz had chosen Hamlet. What if he’d actually owned up to the situation and said, “Look Hamlet, your mom and uncle brought us here. But we’re your friends and maybe we can help. I’ll tell the king whatever you think will keep him off your back. And if there’s spying you need done on them, I will do it for you. You have reason to be suspicious of us, of course. But I want you to know that I’m on your side and want to help you do whatever it is you need to do.” I mean – what would have happened? Tragedy averted?
I mean. Of course, it wouldn’t be a good play if that had happened but it feels like an interesting alterna-verse for these characters.

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