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Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead And Hamlet Essay Titles

Comparing Shakespeare's Hamlet and Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

876 Words4 Pages

Hamlet is undoubtedly one of the most well-studied and remembered tragedies in all of history. Renowned for its compelling soliloquies and thought-provoking discussions about life, death, and love, the play takes a very serious look at the topics it presents. Based on this famous work is another tragedy, known as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. In this work, which is interwoven with the original, the namesake characters bumble about in the immense world, over which they have no control. Without a sense of identity or purpose, the two merely drift to and fro at the whim of the larger forces around them; namely Hamlet, who eventually leads them to death. The twin plays follow the same story and end with the same result – nine deaths.…show more content…

Hamlet is undoubtedly one of the most well-studied and remembered tragedies in all of history. Renowned for its compelling soliloquies and thought-provoking discussions about life, death, and love, the play takes a very serious look at the topics it presents. Based on this famous work is another tragedy, known as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. In this work, which is interwoven with the original, the namesake characters bumble about in the immense world, over which they have no control. Without a sense of identity or purpose, the two merely drift to and fro at the whim of the larger forces around them; namely Hamlet, who eventually leads them to death. The twin plays follow the same story and end with the same result – nine deaths. The difference between the two is how the audience is led to this catastrophic finale. Hamlet is well known for its stern, sober view of death, in which the protagonist views death as a release from the calamity of life. In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the duo considers life to be the ultimate goodness, and thus death must be the ultimate evil. This existential play serves to look at the issues presented in Hamlet from another vantage point, and parodies the original to give the audience another perspective on death. Prince Hamlet has a very distinct view on his existence in the tragedy bearing his name. "O, that this too solid flesh would melt / Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!” he says at one point, wishing to leave his Earthly

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead versus Hamlet Essay

1101 Words5 Pages

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, written in the 1960s by playwright Tom Stoppard, is a transforation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Stoppard effectively relocates Shakespeare’s play to the 1960s by reassessing and revaluating the themes and characters of Hamlet and considering core values and attitudes of the 1960s- a time significantly different to that of Shakespeare. He relies on the audience’s already established knowledge of Hamlet and transforms a revenge tragedy into an Absurd drama, which shifts the focus from royalty to common man. Within Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Stoppard uses a play within a play to blur the line that defines reality, and in doing so creates confusion both onstage- with his characters, and offstage-…show more content…

Stoppard brings two relatively insignificant characters for Hamlet into focus in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Common man into the ‘spotlight’, as he represented the majority of society- 1960s’ audiences were interested in characters that they could empathize with and relate to. By focussing on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard brings offstage Hamlet onstage. This change in orientation gives audiences a new perspective on Hamlet and a different interpretation of Shakespeare’s most famous play.

The themes of Man’s ability to take action, as well as Destiny and Death in Hamlet, are maintained in Stoppard’s play, but he brings into the text an awareness and understanding of his society, and through these themes, explores different values that were inherent in the 1960s. Man’s ability to take action is an individual’s willingness to accept responsibility for his actions and take control of his life. In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses his characters to show the power a man has when he accepts his purpose, which was preordained by God. Stoppard revises this Elizabethan value through the portrayal of his characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who refuse to take an active role in the running of their life. He reflects on the differences between the societies, and demonstrates the confusion and conflicting beliefs and attitudes of the 1960s as shown in Stoppard’s characters that, out of complete

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