Adam's Reviews > Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
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M_50x66
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May 26, 11


** spoiler alert ** Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is an excellent play that displays the lives of two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The author, Tom Stoppard, follows the basic plot of Hamlet, but he focuses on Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. This tragic comedy is very well written. Stoppard uses a lot of play on words and other literary devices in order to transform a complete tragedy into something the reader will laugh at. The play does not completely loose the tragic feel, though.
One of the devices that contributes most to the comical aspect of the play is the use of irony. There are many ironic occurrences that make the play one that you should read. One of these times is when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern realize that the letter orders their own deaths. Just before that, they reasoned that it is Hamlet’s fate to be executed. “[…] death comes to us all, etcetera, and consequently he would have died anyway, sooner or later.” After the letters are switched, Guildenstern realizes that it calls for their deaths. He wants to know why he is about to die. His own reasoning ironically turns on him. He would have died sooner or later. All of this is part of what makes this play great.
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