Essay about Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

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Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a humorous piece of self-reflexive theater that draws upon Shakespeare's Hamlet as the source of the story. The actual device of self-reflexive theater is used so well in Stoppard's play that it reads like the love child of a play and a compelling critical essay. The play is academic yet conversationally phrased and it deepens our understanding of the original play but also criticizes it. The aspect of self-reflexive theater is used to comment on theater itself but also as a presentation of ideas and analysis that had previously had no place on the plot-centric set-up of stage and audience. The essay Rosencrantz and…show more content…
They go through the key plot points of Hamlet culminating in this noteworthy exchange: ROS. To sum up: your father, whom you love, dies, you are his heir, you come back to find that hardly was the corpse cold before his young brother popped onto the throne and into his sheets, thereby offending both legal and natural practice. Now why exactly are you behaving in this extraordinary manner? GUIL. I can't imagine! Stoppard is commentating on Shakespeare's writing, by portraying onstage the ignorance that is required of the characters for the original plot of Hamlet to work. The "meat" of the scene isn't to insult the duo, but for the critically-inclined audience to analyze the sort of logical leaps we take in order to participate in a narrative. The traditional outlet for such observations were academic journals and essays but Stoppard is exhibits these ideas onstage for a mass audience. The Player exemplifies my point (bloated and wriggling as it is) of the unique "space" that Stoppard is trying to occupy with the play. The Player is at once detached and involved in the happenings onstage (textual evidence? How about on page 25 when Guildenstern and the Player discuss fate. Guildenstern asks "Yours [fate] or ours?" The Player answers "It could hardly be one without the other"). The Player, in my opinion, diffuses
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