Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 70 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
This section contains 890 words
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Two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet are travelling to the court of King Claudius and have paused on the road to play a coin-tossing game of "heads or tails." The one named Rosencrantz has just won for the 70th consecutive time, each time betting on "heads." Rosencrantz is embarrassed to be winning so much money from his friend, Guildenstern, but Guildenstern is more concerned with the apparent violation of probability in this phenomenal run. After the string gets to 76, Guildenstern begins throwing the coins more absent-mindedly as he speculates on the possible philosophical and even religious explanations for this amazing streak.

Guildenstern suggests four possibilities for this run of "heads," including simple luck since every toss has the same 50/50 odds no matter what has happened earlier. He helps Rosencrantz recall that this day began with a messenger from King Claudius insisting that they come to Elsinore...

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This section contains 890 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.