Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as the play opens.

They are two Elizabethan gentlemen, well-dressed in the style of the period with hats, walking sticks, and cloaks, and they each carry a large leather moneybag.

2. What is the feeling the audience gets from the strange coin spinning game Guildenstern and Rosencrantz play?

It is odd that the coins always land on heads. Since this defies the law of probability, the action leaves the audience with a feeling of something mysterious and perhaps dreadful that will occur before the play ends.

3. How does Guildenstern come across as the more intelligent of the two men?

Guildenstern analyzes everything. He thinks about such things as diminishing returns, law of probability, and the impact of faith or lack thereof. Rosencrantz, on the other hand, seems only pleased to be winning all the coins.

4. What appears to be the relationship between the two men?

They appear to be the best of friends, sometimes bickering as good friends do, but always concerned about the other one.

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