Analysis Essay of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern"

Aug 3rd, 2016
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ENG 221: writing and literature. Essay analyzing Tom Stoppard's use of the theme of death in his play, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern"

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Tom Stoppards play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, tells the untoldstory of two minor characters from Shakespeares Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildensternare two men sent for by the King of Elsinore in order to try to discover the cause ofHamlets apparent madness. While several themes are hidden, intertwined in the plot, aparticularly apparent one is Stoppards reoccurring theme of death, which is shown fromseveral different angles in the play. It is first shown through the views of Rosencrantz andGuildenstern, as they try desperately to figure out what is going on in their world. Alsointroduced are a band of actors that Stoppard uses to illustrate death from an entirelydifferent point of view. Stoppard shows death from two completely different views, onebeing through Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the other being through the players.Yet, no matter how death is portrayed, in the end it will serve as the ultimate exit forthese characters.Through Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard shows death in a very realisticsense. Thrown into a world that they already do not understand, Rosencrantz andGuildenstern are unsure what to think of death and consequently view it as a bewilderingconcept. In one conversation, Guildenstern tries to describe death to a perplexedRosencrantz:Rosencrantz: Do you think death could possibly be a boat?Guildenstern: No, no, no Death is not. Death isnt. You take my meaning.Death is the ultimate nega

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