Jeeyun's Reviews > Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
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's review
Sep 24, 08

read count: 3

This re-read could not have come at a better time deep in the midst of existential crisis #522. This is the clever tragicomic meta-play of two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet. They are summoned, they bumble about, they play questions, they are entirely confounded by the hubbub surrounding the "much transformed" Prince of Denmark, and then they are sent to their feeble deaths as demanded by the grand scheme of the play. While the dialogue and physical antics of Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the Tragediens are comical and laden with puns, the play serves as a philosophical musing on life, the futility of it, and the cruel haphazard nature of creation (and death). But... um... all in good fun of course.

I can't imagine this being particularly interesting reading if you haven't read Hamlet or if you don't enjoy pointless witticisms and humor in the absurd.

The play always leaves me thinking that maybe we're all just minor characters summoned from nothing to pass the time idly waxing philosophic and idiotic while we wait to fulfill our minor role after which we make our sad, pathetic exit without applause or encore. But... um... in a fun(ny) way, I promise you...
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