Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead

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In Tom Stoppard's play, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,”one of the most symbolic actions is the tossing of the coins by the two main characters. The coin flipping is not only a game, but it also has a deeper meaning. It represents the randomness of the world and the fact that everything cannot always be explained through science and probability. There are only two outcomes that result from flipping a coin. Although, the coin tossing in the play becomes more complicated then just a simple heads or tails. The action of flipping a coin is generally used to illustrate chance and probability. There is a fifty percent chance that the coin will land heads up, and a fifty percent change it will land tails up. Although, in the play, the coin lands head-up over ninety-two times in a row. Because of this, the innocent game of flipping a coin begins to lose its simplicity. The action gradually becomes more complex. It is no longer seen as representing chance, but instead, it symbolizes fate. The characters are no longer thinking about the scientific and mathematical expectations, but instead are forced to examine its philosophical message. At this point, Guildenstern begins to worry that this simple action could have a deeper meaning, and he contemplates what that…show more content…
The fact that the coin keeps landing on the same side defies the expectations set forth by the law of probability. Guildenstern tries to come up with ideas as to what this could mean. The main questions that the character struggle with is, are our lives controlled by chance or fate? The coin landing on heads so many times represents that not everything in the world follows a specific order. In “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” the two men face many unexpected challenges. For example, they did not expect to be called to Denmark. Also, they certainly did not expect to be sentenced to death by the end of their