Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Essay examples

680 Words Nov 14th, 2014 3 Pages
In what ways does Stoppard make it clear to an audience that the world of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead is absurd?
Stoppard’s play, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” is a form of absurdist theatre where the otherwise unacceptable, unbelievable happenings of the universe are taken in by the audience and absorbed as part of the play. The main absurd component of the play revolves around the idea of existentialism where the central characters are completely unaware of their past or why they exist. They are surrounded by absurd events, which they are unable to understand or explain.
This is one of the signs that the world of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is absurd as they are set ‘in a place without any character’. This opening
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They are in a place where “time has stopped dead” as they have no memory of their past nor do they know how long they have been there as they have been “spinning coins as long as (they) remember”.
One of the most absurd parts of the play is that they aren’t real and they acknowledge that to some extent as the player states “that comes under realism”, showing that they know that they aren’t real, especially the player, whose character is one of pretending and not being real. The characters of the play aren’t real until the author “woke (them) up” and realised them as having a purpose to their life, which can be seen through Guildenstern’s character who questions his surroundings while Rosencrantz is happy to accept what he is given. Only when they realise their purpose are they given some form of background and knowledge of who they are. The fact that they “have no control” shows that they are “within un-, sub- or supernatural forces” and anything can happen to them though Stoppard makes the audience feel that this shouldn’t cause any worry in the way Rosencrantz is perfectly happy to accept what is going on without any worry or doubt in mind and lets events unroll as they present themselves.
Overall, Stoppard makes it very clear on the outset that the setting of this play is in a very absurd

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