The Circling Motifs in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s Life Essay

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The Circling Motifs in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s Life (A literary essay on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard) Motifs in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead have a circling, self-repeating nature which corresponds to the motif-repeating structure of the play. It circles primarily around the notion of human existence. There are basically two big groups of motifs in the play; one observes closely the circle of life form the perspective of its participants, here, the two main characters of the play who are constantly making hypothesis about their being, or about the nature of human being. The other one experiences the subhuman factors that contribute to the stream of life and which depends on the director of life, be it God, or here the director, that is Tom Stoppard. Due to the aim of this essay, I will only concentrate on some of the motifs, thus I will highlight the motifs I consider to be the most important ones. In the first part, the focus of this essay is on the inevitable factors that directly contribute to and lead Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s life. In the second part, the notions about the world they are in will be in the centre of my analysis. The first group of motifs includes the most basic existential pattern of an individual’s life which is the circle of birth, life, and death. Here, the concept of birth is established by the arrival of the Messenger. He is the one who calls Rosencrantz and Guildenstern into being at dawn. The time of day is of significance here, as it is not only their birth time, but it is when normally the light is born. It eventually foreshadows their future which is similar to that of the light that is they will necessarily disappear, die at the end of the day. Accordingly, the third act ‘opens in pitch darkness’; suggesting that their end is near: but ‘We are not finished yet. ‘(Stoppard 97),

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