Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What blunder does Rosencrantz make with the introductions?

2. What is the ridiculous conversation Rosencrantz initiates about fingernails and beards?

3. What does Rosencrantz say that Guildenstern must be feeling?

4. How does the dialogue change when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern speak with Claudius and Gertrude?

5. Still trying to explain his run of bad luck, why does Guildenstern think about time?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Guildenstern's comment that he is afraid today is his day mean?

2. Describe Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as the play opens.

3. How does Gertrude reinforce the idea that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are friends of Hamlet's?

4. How does Guildenstern take advantage of the Player?

5. What things are troubling Rosencrantz as he and Guildenstern are once again left alone on the stage?

6. What is Claudius' request of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

7. How does Guildenstern attempt to change the subject away from the coins?

8. Trying to make sense of their situation, to what does Guildenstern think back?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a paper about premonitions and foreshadowing. Using examples from Stoppard's play, discuss how the recurring theme of death actually forecasts the outcome of the play. How does even the title of the play add to that idea?

Essay Topic 2

Write a paper contrasting chance and destiny. Do you believe in destiny or fate? If so, why, and if not, why not?

Essay Topic 3

Do some research on the Elizabethan theater and write a paper on how Stoppard's staging of his play borrows from staging during Shakespeare's time. In your paper include how the Player and his troupe were able to stage plays as they moved from place to place.

(see the answer keys)

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