Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Essay

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Shakespeare Rosencrantz and Guildenstern The Irony of Life and Death Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard is a play spun off of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the two men chosen to escort Hamlet to England, are the main focuses. In the play the two feed off of each other, Rosencrantz a coin flipping carefree follow, and Guildenstern, one who questions each situation they encounter make for an unforgettable pair. Within the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are driven by the fear of their own death and isolation than they are by the interest in, or sympathy with, others. In the beginning of the play the two friends are walking down the street simply flipping coins when they encounter a Player and his band, The Tragedian’s. The Player offers the men to engage in a sexual act for a fee. Guildenstern grows angry by the thought of such heinous actions and cannot believe his ears or eyes. After tricking The Player with their simple coin flipping game they are called to Denmark by the King for a favor. The King tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he is concerned about their friend’s (Hamlet) behavior and asks if they can do anything to help. After leaving the castle the two argue with fear of what this might mean for their life. Guildenstern ends the conversation/argument with: “The only beginning is birth and the only end is death- if you can’t count on that, what can you count on?” (Act 1, Stoppard) Their lives have been filled with uncertainty and dismay for a large part of it. They are roamers and truly have no set distention or goal for themselves and really only had each other. They are the
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