Postmodernism In Hamlet

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In the aftermath of World War II, a change in the theatre took place. Due to the recent war and colonization, the public began to “question authority, challenge precedent, and debunk mythologies associated with power and prestige.” This revolution was deemed “postmodernism” because people started questioning the objectiveness of modern history and artist began exploring ideas outside of the classical form. This ‘postmodernism’ is evident in the world of theatre because playwrights began to explore working class themes and the development of an anti-hero arose. This working class anti-hero reflected the public desire to confront the oppressive nature in history, tradition and convention. Many playwrights would explore the postmodern theatre, …show more content…
After two years of developing the idea, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on 24 August 1966. Tom Stoppard attempted to create his own version of the ideal anti-hero in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead but would depict his anti-hero as two men connected by an unexplainable dependency on the other. Invading Shakespearian tragedy, Stoppard explored the lives of the two courtiers (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) from the play Hamlet and re-examined the story through their eyes as minor and relatively uninformed characters. Stoppard explored dramatic irony found in real life; focusing on the idea that our action, or inaction, will have a direct effect on those around us. Just like in life, we are not …show more content…
However, Beckett’s play is serious and grim, much different than Stoppard comedic tragedy. This difference may have to do with the personal background of each playwright. Tom Stoppard was a child during the outbreak of World War II but Samuel Beckett was an active member of the French Resistance. As an Irishman helping the French, Beckett fearfully watched WWII much like his characters Vladimir and Estragon fearfully watched the episodes of Pozzo and Lucky. In contrast, Stoppard was a child still discovering the world during WWII. When compared to Waiting for Godot, Tom Stoppard’s characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern experience the story of Hamlet with a reflection of childlike

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