Their inability to comprehend death’s complexity stems from the fact that even when alive, they are hardly present, barely hanging onto their existence. If we stopped breathing we’d vanish. (R&D, 112) Part of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s lack of existence is Stoppard’s emphasis on the seeming interchangeability of their identities. However, whereas in Hamlet the King, Gertrude and Hamlet mistake the two for each other, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern actually mistake themselves. Their lack of identity leaves the two characters as not human – they literally do nothing and do not develop.
He hadn’t done anything worthwhile, or that some would remember him by, there was nothing remarkable about him. Prufrock longed to be more than just a workingman, somewhat like Michelangelo. Accomplish something wonderful to be remembered by, and not just known as a sex addict. Prufrock, however, could never achieve something great. He was too afraid; it held him back and forced him to subject himself to only the most trivial things in life.
Tom Stoppard based the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead on the play Hamlet; he shows Hamlet from the perspectives of two minor characters – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The perspective of these characters exaggerates what Hamlet goes through, makes the understanding of the play as a whole more complicated, and confuses the readers. Despite these negative effects, readers are able to see the play Hamlet in a new light. By retelling Hamlet from the perspective of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard expands certain plot points from Hamlet. Parts that may seem completely normal in Hamlet’s world are conveyed abnormally in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
Further, Shakespeare keeps his audience guessing throughout the play. For example, he isn’t absolutely clear as to whether or not Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, shares in the guilt; whether or not Ophelia and Hamlet remain in love; and even leaves Ophelia’s manner of death a mystery. Shakespeare wants to ensure that his audience realizes the answers to some of the questions ... ... middle of paper ... ..., yet seems sad. Hamlet indicates he feels sickness in his heart, but he has resigned himself to the idea of death and no longer fears the unknown of the afterlife. The play does not make it clear as to how or why Hamlet has this shift in emotions.
While Miller’s plays are designed to draw questions and moral dilemma for their audience it seems as if some critics have taken Miller’s open invitation too literally. One of the popularly presented arguments against Salesman is that there is no significant gain that is lost. They seem to feel that because the pedestal Willy sat on wasn’t that tall, he never reached a point where his death and failure could be considered that significant of a loss. “If the plot is not to be simply a mocking of the non-passive man, it must show a real chance of heroism and change. This Miller fails to do” (Mottram 33).
Hamlet was one of two inspirations for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I believe the play Hamlet was a little absurd, especially in the extreme role vengeance played, and how almost every character died in the end. Nothing was really accomplished in the play Hamlet, except how Fortinbras reclaimed his land. There was not a "good guy" in Hamlet or a philosophy that the reader should be able to support, much like in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The end of Hamlet was surprisingly hopeful, in the way of how Fortinbras came in and took over leadership of the country.
The play was composed to challenge traditional theatre, perspectives, morals, and conventions of a society enduring enormous changes contextually. Stoppard only takes from the plot of Shakespeare to produce a unique drama, for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. At the same time as Stoppard explores the ideas Shakespeare proven in his original text as he is mostly confined to the theme of Hamlet; death, direction in life, order in society and truth the two approaches it in a very different way. Stoppard makes use of a play in another play to shadow the line that outlines re... ... middle of paper ... ... as laypeople. The language in the texts of the dramas plays a key role, too.
Hamlet wishes to stay loyal to the ghost, who is claiming to be the king, however, he is far from being the stereotypical, hard-faced, violent character, capable of carrying out a revengeful act without feeling any remorse. Instead, he is a pure and honest man, who does not seem to posses the characteristics of a hero. Hamlets hesitation makes his character seem tragically torn between emotions. He wants to do what is right, but fails for a long time, to make his decision. This causes tension in the play, and, the time delay provides the reader with enough time to build an accurate image of Hamlets character, examining him in fine detail to determine his true mental state.
The essay Rosencrantz and Guildensternare Dead: Theater of Criticism by Normand Berlin draws attention to the fact that Stoppard who was once a drama critic, writes from the critical perspective. When engaged in a non-reflexive play, we are too busy following the movement of time and events to really judge the play, but Berlin writes "In the act of seeing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, however, our critical faculty is not subdued. We are always observing the characters and are not ourselves participating...we are forced to contemplate the frozen state, the status-quo, of the characters who carry their Shakespearean fates with them.". The grand illusion of theater is the acceptance of the on-stage fantasy as real and existing separate from the people who are actually performing it. Watching theater had classically been an experience separate from the experience of analyzing the piece.
Gertrude: Thanks Guildenstern, and gentle Rosencrantz). Whereas in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead characters are all inverted and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern now share main roles with the player. Characters such as Hamlet and Ophelia now acquire non- speaking roles or have their scene behind the main scene of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have a purpose, there purpose is to subconsciously help Claudius kill Hamlet,