Friday, April 3, 2015

Who ARE Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

The names Rosencrantz and Guildenstern apparently originated from two Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish noble families.

  • From the Family Rosenkrantz
  • Members of the family were estate owners and high-up officials
  • The name means Wreath of Roses or Rosary
  • This is their Family Crest:

  • From the Family Gyldenstierne
  • Belonged to the nobility
  • This is their family's coat of arms:


Ross said...

This is really interesting! I was wondering where Shakespeare got the names Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for a while now (I was too lazy to look it up). Something to note about it is that, while the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet probably knew this information, the Ros and Guil we see in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead most certainly do not. To have such noble origins and not know of it is surely a tragedy in and of itself.

Iris Mire said...

Interesting point, Izzy! Ross's point about what the audience of the time may have known is actually really thought provoking. I wonder if those families were kind of obscure even for the time. If so, it would make even more sense that R and G are "minor" characters--unknowns.