As you'll probably remember from high school English class, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two minor characters from Shakespeare's "Hamlet." In the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two ordinary guys who get swept up in court intrigue. Because they are always seen together, many people can't tell them apart. Hundreds of years later, popular TV shows are rife with the spiritual successors to these two iconic characters. Here are some great examples of TV shows with modern-day equivalents of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
"The Cousins": "Breaking Bad"Though they have since been killed off (much like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern themselves), Leonel and Marco Salamanca were two men who were always inseparable. Better known as "The Cousins," these two men were twins who worked as hitmen for a drug cartel. Much like their spiritual forebears, The Cousins are killed off when they are commissioned to murder the main character of the story.
Ed and Larry: "The West Wing"Ed and Larry's roles grew as the series progressed, with the two becoming close advisors to the president. And yet, despite their positions, nobody could tell them apart because they were always seen together. When they are introduced to Sam's ex-girlfriend, she asks which one is which. They respond, comedically and unison, "It doesn't matter." Despite relatively little screen time, they became fan favorite characters.
Ed and Harry: "Supernatural"Not to be confused with Ed and Larry above, Ed and Harry are the founding members of the "Ghostfacers" team of paranormal investigators. They also co-run the website HellHoundsLair.com. In a clever twist, Ed and Harry think that Sam and Dean (the show's main characters) are the Rosencrantz and Guildensterns in their world.
Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, "Rome"This is a somewhat deconstructed version of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern model. In fact, Lucius and Titus aren't very much like their Shakespearean forebears, mostly because they aren't always attached at the hip. However, the two characters do play a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-like role on the show. Lucius and Titus are a complement to the stories of major historical figures of the era, and in some ways, they resemble the R&G characters as they appear in the famous Tom Stoppard play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."
Lenny and Carl, "The Simpsons"Lenny and Carl are Homer's co-workers and drinking buddies down at Moe's. But even though they've been around for decades, most fans probably couldn't say which character was which.