Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
How we cite our quotes:
The black resolves to moonlight, by which HAMLET approaches the sleeping ROS and GUIL. He extracts the letter and takes it behind his umbrella; the light of his lantern shines through the fabric, HAMLET emerges again with the letter, and replaces it, and retires, blowing out his lantern. (3.212)
This is what we get of Hamlet's betrayal of Ros and Guil – no angst-filled monologues, no explanation or reflection, just this. Why doesn't Hamlet just throw the letter overboard? Why would he betray Ros and Guil by altering the letter? Is this any clearer in Stoppard's play than it was in Shakespeare's?