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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 93 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 1,249 words
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Themes

Human Condition

Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead blends two stories Shakespeare's Hamlet and Stoppard's own version of how the two courtiers might have felt and behaved after they were summoned by King Claudius to spy on their schoolmate, Hamlet.

When Stoppard decided to write about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern he was free to give them personalities of his own because Shakespeare had hardly given them any personalities at all. He was also free to let them speak in a more colloquial language and to elaborate on aspects of their lives that Shakespeare did not specify, such as what they might have done with Hamlet on the ship to England. But once Stoppard chose to blend his story with Shakespeare's, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were fated to die at the end of Stoppard's story because they die at the end of Shakespeare's. Stoppard uses this literary fatalism as a metaphor for...

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This section contains 1,249 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Study Guide
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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