Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Essay

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In this excerpt, Hynes avers the greatness of Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, while also discussing the debt of gratitude the play owes to not only William Shakespeare's Hamlet, but to such absurdist works as Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

At the top of his form, Tom Stoppard writes tragicomedies or comic ironies. Stoppard's top form has given us Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) and Arcadia (1993), contenders for the finest postwar English-language drama, and in neither case generic comedy, since comedy includes importantly a limited, socially satisfying resolution over and above the laughs. Because the recent brilliance of Arcadia happily implies that Stoppard may give us much more, I do not think of these two plays as bookends enclosing his life's work. At the same time, however, a close look... will provide a useful awareness of Stoppard's dramatic structures and methods as well as of his preoccupations...

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This section contains 1,941 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Study Guide
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