Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Essay

958 WordsOct 7, 20114 Pages
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, written by Tom Stoppard in 1967, is a play which epitomizes the "Theatre of the absurd." Stoppard develops the significant theme of the Incomprehensibility of the World through the main characters of the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern spend the majority, if not, the entirety of the play in utter confusion as to what is happening around them and lack knowledge of even the most basic of things, such as who they are. "My name is Guildenstern and this is Rosencrantz. I'm sorry - his name's Guildenstern and I'm Rosencrantz." In the opening of the play the two men are unaware of where they intend to go or how they began their journey, and in the ending of the play their…show more content…
- What's yours?" The game illustrates that although they keep asking questions they are never going to find any answers. This resmbles how these two characters are always trying to find answers or meanings to the things that happen to them and their surroundings, but they never reach a conclusion or answer. How did they end up on the journey in the opening scene? Why were they chosen to be spies? In which direction is the wind blowing? are some of the examples throughout the play that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern attempt to answer. However, they cannot - and as a result have difficulty understanding the world around them. Stoppard also conveys the theme of incomprehensibilty of the world through the questions constantly asked by the characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Questions such as "Who am I then?" or "Is my name different at home?" display the lack of knowledge the two men have of even just the basic concept of who they are. This identity crisis Rosencrantz and Guildenstern experience show that not only do they not know their own names, but they do not understand themselves or how they fit in the world around them. "Why should it matter? - What does it matter why?" are questions the two men also ask in the verbal tennis game. This conveys how they do not have any direction or sense as to what is important or unimportant in the world. The questions they ask throughout the play and in particular, the verbal tennis game show that these two men cannot
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