Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead Essay

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Tom Stoppard tells a story of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in his play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He follows the characteristics of Theatre of the Absurd by having the characters be confused and uncertain about what is happening around them. Uses of humor reoccur and are used to cover up a deeper meaning and multiple events and symbols show up repeatedly throughout the play. Through the uses of the motifs, wheels, boxes, gambling, and the question game, Stoppard conveys the theme that life is full of uncertainties and uncontrollable events. Throughout the play references to the Wheel of Fortune occur frequently. The Wheel of Fortune, also known as Rota Fortunae, refers to the unpredictability of Fate. It was believed…show more content…
The irony is highlighted when Rosencrantz is having a conversation about being dead in a box. He says that one would “never know [they] were in a box” (70). While the entire time both he and Guildenstern are trapped in a box, the stage, and do not even know it. The irony continues when he says “you’d be helpless” (71). The entire play both men are helpless, they can only go as far as allowed. The stage is a prison, just like the box would be to a person, not allowing one to move freely. They always follow the stage directions and directions given to them by other people. In certain parts of the play, they change from one scene to another and have no control. Both men rely so much on being told what to do that when they are presented with situations in which they have no instruction, they are lost and the confusion continues. Deep down both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern know that something is wrong and that they cannot make their own decisions. However, they try to be optimistic which gives them a false sense of freedom and just masks the uncontrollability of

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