Bev's Reviews > Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
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's review
Apr 17, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: drama
Recommended for: Nobody
Read from April 16 to 17, 2011

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, written by Tom Stoppard, was first performed in a shortened version in August 1966. When it opened in London in 1967, it catapulted Stoppard into the front ranks of modern playwrights. The plot is supposedly simple: the play of Hamlet seen not through the eyes of Hamlet or Claudius or Ophelia or Gertrude, but a worm's-eye view of the tragedy seen from the standpoint of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The blurb on the back of book says that "it is very funny, very brilliant, very chilling; it has the dus of thouht about it and the particles glitter excitingly in the the theatrical air."

Um. Okay. If Clive Barnes from The New York Times says so. But you couldn't tell by my reading. I'm afraid I didn't see any humor in it. I can't say that I thought it was all that brilliant. In fact, it was almost entirely one great big "HUH???" for me. I don't get it. I'm well acquainted with Hamlet and, yes, I do get the bits of the actual play that are sprinkled here and there....but overall everything that had to do with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern made very little sense to me. Their dialogue was very vague and elliptical. Maybe this is one of those plays that do better if seen than read. I certainly hope so, because I can't say that I've gotten anything out this reading--except another candle on my Birth Year Reading Challenge Cake. One star....maybe less.
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Reading Progress

04/17 page 68
06/04 marked as: read

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