Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard: Innovative Version of Shakespeare´s Hamlet

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a play written by Tom Stoppard. It can be said that his successful play provides underlying meaning to Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Through two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, audiences and readers can interpret the play in an entire new perspective. The partner -in-crime pair is totally oblivious to the fate of Hamlet and is the innocent henchmen of King Claudius. Their unique personality traits contribute to the innovative version of Shakespeare's play. Stoppard skillfully takes the key components of the play such language and communication and reinvents it to provide a more clear dissection in interpreting the connections between all the characters that result in the tragic ending. As stated above, Stoppard incorporates the theme of language and communication. From the beginning of the play it is visible that the two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern share a unique relationship. The play begins with them tossing coins that majority of the time always lands on heads. Their communication between one another during the game is “ping-pong”, constantly going back and forth with endless questions. They pun off of each other's words without thinking about having a meaningful conversation. Stoppard’s use to include the constant poor interaction throughout can help the readers and audience pick up on the actions that will be conducted later on. Linguistics are often seen as an emboldening way of predicting one's own fate, but for the partner in crime duo, it often seems like a helpless device, best suited for lazy individuals. The interactions provide a deep insight into the tragic fate of Hamlet. Due to the fact that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern do not have an intellec... ... middle of paper ... ...are the characters that allow for all this to happen. Having characters with no common sense and constantly don’t have one interesting conversation with jokes or insights to deeper meanings, creates that backdrop for tragic. The reoccurring theme found in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is Language and communication. The dynamic lazy duo find themselves playing silly word games and usually finish each other’s sentences with nonsense. Having Stoppard use this in the play showcases that language is key to connecting not with just the information you know but the external knowledge you can obtain. Hamlet was able to outsmart so many people but in the end, because of individuals like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, fate doesn’t present itself in the right of ways. It’s like connecting the dots. Without connecting the dots, you can’t see the bigger picture. Word Count: 825

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