Stoppard illustrates the Post-modern existentialist context, setting RAGAD on the periphery of Hamlet. Foregrounding two minion characters signifies individualism in the face of capitalist society, and weakening religion and morality. Stoppard recontexutalises R&G into bewildered innocents, creating meaning for Stoppardian audiences, mirroring man’s subsequent uncertainty and volatility. Stoppard utilises Absurdist theatre, similar to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot that depicts this disillusioned world “lacking visible character”, as R&G “exist” under absurd circumstances that recurringly defies logic. Existence becomes trivial through slapstic...
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...your heads”. The theatrical references of the “play within plays” device; implicitly raises questions over truth as ultimately inexplicable. The conventions of the traditional Shakespearean stage are repeatedly parodied, with the Player’s recognition of his role, “We’re actors. We’ve pledged our identities…that someone would be watching”. In a time of obscurity and political censorship, this urges the Stoppardian audience to question their very own realities. “I could jump over the side. That will put a spoke in their wheel”.
With the persistent references to Shakespeare’s play, RAGAD addresses the new philosophical attitudes towards Hamlet and its society. Indeed, the new interpretation of Hamlet’s themes holds literary significance to the modern audience. In effect, the Stoppardian version presents a 20th century response to Shakespeare’s 16th century Hamlet.
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