Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by 4xNeWb

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									Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
         are Dead
        Tom Stoppard
           Tom Stoppard
• 1937 – Czech Republic
• Father killed during WWII
• Mom remarried British officer in India
  – Kenneth Stoppard; moved to England
• Left school at 17 and became a
  journalist
  – Hated it and became theater critic
• First play 1960; R&G 1966; film
  version in 1990
           Thematic Topics

• Free will versus fate
  – Role in a mechanical universe (think
    Grendel)
• Death
• Personal Identity – minor versus major
  characters
• “Art imitates life which imitates art” –
  post-modern ideal
• Philosophical play – theater of the
  absurd
  Rosencrantz vs. Guildenstern
• Seemingly indistinguishable – together
  they make an Everyman
  – Rosencrantz
    • Accepts situations without question
    • Movie vs. play (scientific hypotheses)
  – Guildenstern
    • Intellectual
    • Hopes world is about chance not
      predestination
• Both are confused …
       Philosophies of the Play
• Theatre of the Absurd
  – Type of play which first became popular during
    the 1950s and 1960s espousing the philosophy of
    Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus.
  – The human condition is basically meaningless;
    thus, “Camus argued that humanity had to resign
    itself to recognizing that a fully satisfying rational
    explanation of the universe was beyond its reach;
    in that sense, the world must ultimately be seen
    as absurd” (Crabb).
      Absurdism
      Existentialism
      Theoretical Probability
• Probability is a likelihood that an event
  will happen
  P(event) = # of favorable outcomes
          total # of possible outcomes
• Act I – Coin toss
• Characters are part of a controlled
  environment – natural laws do not
  apply

								
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