Life and Futility in Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" Analytical Essay

Life and Futility in Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"
An analysis of the concepts of life and futility in Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead".
# 153891 | 0 words | 0 sources | 2009 | US
Published on Jun 11, 2014 in Drama and Theater (American) , Literature (American)

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From the Paper:

"Stoppard separates his modern day characters from the duo in Hamlet through differences in dialect. For example, Rosencrantz addresses the King and Queen in such a manner: "Both your majesties/Might, by the sovereign power you have of us, / Put your dread pleasures into command/Than to entreaty", with which Guildenstern adds:"But we both obey, / and here give up ourselves in the full bent/ To lay our service freely at your feet, /To be commanded."(Shakespeare Iii 27-34). These lines are identical in both plays. However, when all the other characters exeunt, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern return to their normal dialects:
Ros: I want to go home.
Guil: Don't let them confuse you.
Ros: I'm out of my step here -
Guil: We'll soon be home and high- dry and home-I'll-..." (Stoppard 37-38; Act I). The Shakespearean dialects in Hamlet clearly leave Rosencrantz and Guildenstern very much confused. When they are alone or with the Player and his tragedians, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are allowed to speak freely. But when scenes from Hamlet occur, they are bound to their original scripts.
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's tragic fates leave the fated duo hopeless. The prime example of this is how they are rushed in and out of scenes from Hamlet. The two courtiers devise a plan of how they will outwit Hamlet. But their characters in Shakespeare's play are outwitted, and so Rosencrantz and Guildenstern must be outwitted by Hamlet (Rusinko 419). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern know they have no control over the characters from Hamlet and cannot even attempt to guess at their entrances and exits. Guildenstern states it accurately: " As soon as we make a move they'll come pouring in from every side, shouting obscure instructions, confusing us with ridiculous remarks, messing us about from here to breakfast and getting our names wrong."(Stoppard 85; Act I). In Act III, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are granted a false sense of hope on the boat to England with Hamlet on board. However when Hamlet escapes and switches the letters, they are faced with the ultimate hopelessness: the duo has no purpose (Rusinko 419)."

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