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Transcript of Comparison Diagram
-title of RAGAD, the player and Guild
--"GUIL: Death followed by eternity…the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible thought."
--"PLAYER: There's nothing more unconvincing than an unconvincing death."
--"PLAYER: It's what the actors do best. They have to exploit whatever talent is given to them, and their talent is dying. They can die heroically, comically, ironically, slowly, suddenly, disgustingly, charmingly, or from a great height. My own talent is more general. I extract significance from melodrama, a significance which it does not in fact contain; but occasionally, from out of this matter, there escapes a thin beam of light that, seen at the right angle, can crack the shell of mortality."
-the trend of death in Hamlet (suicide, murder, gravedigger scene)
Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity."
To be, or not to be: that is the question." The idea of death... Perception versus reality;
Faustus thinks he's powerful, but he perceived as tyrannical
Hamlet thinks he understands his circumstances, but is perceived as mad.
Hamlet's inevitable Tragedy
Faustus's inevitable damnation
Hamlet's many soliloquies
Faustus's many self-evaluations (whether or not to repent Old English text Hamlet: conflicted about life after death and the indecision with heaven and hell (Hamlet needs to avenge his father, however that would cause his own death/ damnation)
"To be or not to be"
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: Stoppard is intensely aware of the fact that death is inevitable and therefore can be the only thing that the protagonists are certain of in this indecisive and counter productive play
"The only beginning is birth, and the only end is death. If you can't count on that, what can you count on?"
The Birthday Party: You can't ignore death. After the tragedies of war, the characters realize however are unable to comprehend that death is waiting.
"You're dead. You can't live. You can't think. You can't love. You're dead."
Doctor Faustus: Well, he dies. However, he does not understand the magnitude of it, because he is willing to die in the sense that he believes in truth and knowledge and knows there is nothing to fear after death.
"And Faustus hath bequeathed his soul to Lucifer." Ambiguity/ withholding info... Hamlet: Unsaid information that is evident with actions and 'puns' made by Shakespeare through unclear comments leads to the readers'/ viewers' differing interpretations of scenarios that could or could not be true
Is Ophelia pregnant?
R&G: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's fate is ambiguous because we assume they are dead and/ die however it cannot be so simple. Also, the lack of information provided by Stoppard and the other characters encourages the reader to fill in missing backgrounds of characters/ story leading to ambiguous moments.
why do they forget the beginning and where did their journey start?
TBP: The lack of clarification of why Stanley is being interrogated and the ambiguity of Stanley's background. The interpretations of the ambiguous scenes allows the reader to invent a livelihood for the character.
Stanley's past, like what the what?
Dr. Faustus: Readers do not have clarification of whether Faustus went to hell or heaven and what happened to him after death. We experience what the two scholars experience and only have their perceptions to rely on.
Where is Faustus and what does he deserve? Ambiguity
With regard to Hamlet/Ophelia's relationship:
Polonius’s repeated use of the word “marry” in his conversation with Ophelia regarding Hamlet is perhaps significant in suggesting the proposed future of the relationship, although at this time Ophelia claims that she “do(es) not know... what (she) should think” (I, iii, 113). Initially, the relationship is presented as being of a delicate nature, with Hamlet’s emotions not fully declared to or understood by Ophelia. She remains apprehensive and loyal to her father, telling him of Hamlet’s “tenders of...affection” (I, iii, 108-109). However, as the plot develops, so too is the extent of the pair’s love revealed. This is first shown through Hamlet’s presentation of the love letter to Ophelia, then to her being driven to insanity, and finally to the events that take place at her funeral.
With regard to identity (The Birthday Party) :
Contributing to the overall atmosphere of disorder and confusion within the work, the identities of several characters are referenced in a manner not consistent with the defined name/characteristics listed in the cast index. Both Stanley and Faustus feel as though they are better than everyone. Evident religious ties Lack of action Hamlet: Whatever Hamlet chooses he is screwed because both scenarios do not have an appealing outcome. Ironically, if he does not decide to do anything he also looses in accomplishing nothing.
Hamlet decides to kill Polonius and is therefore questioned to be mentally insane, but does not decide to avenge his father, and feels bad for himself.
R&G: THEY DON"T DO ANYTHING! Everything they do leads to nothing, and therefore shows that action is significant because it is insignificant. Throughout the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern take an existentialism approach which causes them to question what they are doing which leads them to stagnation.
They kill Player, but then nothing actually happened
TBP: They never leave the house. They all have succumbed to a particular routine in which they cannot break free and therefore do not take action.
Meg repeatedly asks the same questions during the morning routine.
Dr. Faustus: Faustus takes great action throughout the play in regards to his magical power given to him by Lucifer, however he does not take appropriate action in repenting (we may need some help tying this in) Rhetorical Questions RAGAD: game of questions Hamlet: "To be or not to be" Elysia and Caleb Loyalty:
Hamlet: Horatio to Hamlet (true)
Laertes to the king (apparent)
The Birthday Party: McCann to Goldberg (true) "Guild: Who do you think you are?
Ros: Rhetoric. Game and match!" Stoppard explores Hamlet through another viewpoint Heaven and Hell Misuse of Knowledge
- Hamlet's misuse of the knowledge of
- RaG misuse of physics/math/
-Faustus misuses his knowledge by neglecting it Purpose and Meaning in Life Doctor Faustus and The Birthday Party have different settings whereas Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildentstern are Dead are both set in Denmark. Fate vs. Destiny All considered tragedies Repetition of words in The Birthday Party but not in Doctor Faustus. -Death is emphasized; physically appears while implied in other works
-Gertrude: "No, no, the drink, the drink! O, my dear Hamlet! The drink, the drink! I am poisoned [she dies]" (Act V, scene ii, 340-341).
-Hamlet: "Here, thou incestuous, murd'rous, damned Dane, Drink of this potion. Is thy union here? [Forcing him to drink the potion] Follow my mother. [king dies]" (V, ii, 356-359).
-Hamlet's soliloquies are contemplative
-"To be, or not to be" (III, i, 64).
- Ophelia, Laertes, Polonius
-More significant characters
- Horatio, Fortinbras, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern
-Better knowledge of characters' backgrounds and understanding of their thoughts
-Literal suicide present
- See Queen's line- Act 4 Scene 7 lines 197-208 p.235
-Most plausible (events could really happen; most literal text)
- Most satisfying ending, feel closure, justice has been served Magical elements Their “fate” is more defined than the other novels: their story is written based off another story. [Little room for flexibility in their destined life]
“Each move is dictated by the previous one- that is the meaning of order” (pg. 60)
“Decides? It is written.” (pg 80)
“Guil: There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said-no. But somehow we missed it” (pg. 125)
GUIL: Inside where nothing shows, I am the essence of a man spinning double-headed coins, and betting against himself in private atonement for an unremembered past. (page 56)
They are one in the same:
Only novel that has a focus on two characters[Hamlet: Hamlet, Birthday Party: Stanley, Doctor Faustus: Faustus]. Even though Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are physically two characters, they are infact seen as one.
Guil: He couldn’t even be sure of mixing us up. Ros: Without mixing us up. Act 3, page 104
“My name is Guildenstern, and this is Rosencrantz” - Rosencrantz (pg. 22)
“ROS (mournfully): Not even England. I don't believe in it anyway. GUIL: What? ROS: England. GUIL: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, you mean.” (3,163)
In this novel, the author is most blunt about the death of his/her characters. Stoppard uses dramatic irony, allowing the audience to already know the predetermined fates of the characters before reading the text.
-Name of the book: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
-Excessive use of foreshadowing
*”The only beginning is birth and the only end is death- if you can’t count on that, what can you count on?”(Act 1, page 39)
*Ros:” They'll have us hanging about 'till we're dead!” (Act 2, pg.93)
*”The only beginning is birth and the only end is death- if you can’t count on that, what can you count on?”(Act 1, page 39) Fated by the plot furthering device in the story
-Faustus's fate sealed by Lucifer
-RaG fate decided by helping Hamlet
-Hamlet fated by vengeance of his father Always questioning existence relative to higher powers
-Faustus hopes to be a demi-god
-Hamlet debates importance of his own life via religion
-RaG often question existence as mortals Similar scene: Faustus's introduction to Mephistopheles and Hamlet's to the king's ghost. Both accept the terms after proving to themselves that they should. Both were willing to give up their souls.
What might the staying of my blood portend?
Is it unwilling I should write this bill?
Why streams it not that I may write afresh?
Faustus gives to thee his soul: O there it stayed.
Why should'st thou not? Is not thy soul thine owe?
Then write again: Faustus gives to thee his soul.
O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell? Hold, hold, my heart!
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee? Hero with a purpose
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern do not have a purpose, they do not know what they are doing Madness Submission with Sin
Hamlet: Knows it is wrong to kill his uncle but does it anyway
The Birthday Party:
Dr. Faustus: He knows it is wrong to worship the devil but he does it anyway Allegory:
Doctor Faustus uses a type of allegory that was common in medieval drama. Sins and virtues are represented by actual people. In Doctor Faustus the people are the Seven Deadly Sins and the Good and Bad Angels. Much debate whether Hamlet is actually mad
RAGAD, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are often confused as to who they really are
The Birthday Party interrogation scene where everything just goes crazy Themes: Theme of Religion: Faustus questions the idea of hell and winds up in the middle of the papal court, where he mocks the Catholic church. However, while religion follows him on his journey to eternal damnation, we think that Faustus never understands how important religion is in his life, or the role it will eventually play in the fate of his soul. RGAD: The incomprehensibility of the world
The Birthday Party: Confusion and Chaos Overt Comedy of Menace/ Comic Relief
Hamlet: The Gravediggers
The Birthday Party: Uncomfortable Sexual Undertones
Dr. Faustus: Clowns Both plays leave something to be desired regarding knowledge known and understood. The chaos of The Birthday Party is apparent in the various characters doing Guilty Conscience/ Guilty Tone
Hamlet: Hamlet has an eternal conflict by avenging his father and killing his uncle.
The Birthday Party: There is a guilty tone referenced
Dr. Faustus: Guilt vs. Regret The tone is dark and the play is tragicomic The "Pinter Pause" is very unique. The stage directions are specific. Hero Soliloquy
The Birthday Party: Stanley's Concert Monologue
Dr. Faustus: Faustus's Final Soliloquy
Hamlet: To be or not to be... Prominent Female Characters
The Birthday Party: Meg
Dr. Faustus: Helen of Troy Sub-motif/theme There is no soul protagonist. Hamlet: the paranormal activity of the ghost
RAGAD: underlying science explanations
The Birthday Party: sexual tension The Birthday Part & Rozencrantz and Guildestern Are Dead Justice/ Human Punishment
Hamlet: You commit a crime, you get punished
Stanley: Did something bad,he gets punished
Dr. Faustus: He dies at the end of his 24 years, the ambiguity of where he went is the result of Marlowe's background The characters know more than the
audience knows (opposite of dramatic irony) Stichomythia The most menacing of the plays. Anti-Hero Protagonist Sierra, Hannah, Jake Hamlet: Hamlet is confronted by his mother, the queen, about the play (III, ii) which Hamlet rigged to expose his murderous step-uncle.
The Birthday Party: Interrogation scene
RAGAD: Game of Rhetoric One type of anti-hero is the protagonist that goes from one failure in life to the next. They have occasional successes but inevitably meet the ultimate defeat, failure.
Hamlet: finds out about his dad? He's sad. The ghost visits him in the night? He is now faced with a decision- avenge his father or not. Ultimately, he is unsuccessful in feeling triumphant in his internal conflict and dies
Stanley: Throughout the drama, Goldberg and Mccann constantly harass Stanley. Readers develop a sympathy toward Stanley and hope that he will prevail against their intimidation. Nonetheless, the drama ends with Goldberg and Mccann leading Stanley out without much hesitation on Stanley's part.
Ros & Guild: Several times throughout the drama, Ros and Guild ponder philosophical paradigms, but never actually come to a conclusion about the meaning of life or even a definite meaning to any of their philosophical thoughts. Theme: Confusion
The theme of confusion It's the one play that never leaves the setting. outside world= scary place, they are trapped inside the house - they NEVER leave the house, only alludes to people leaving. however always stays within the confines of the house -start off outside of the castle, then arrive, then on the ship in the end (away from the castle), confided to the stage but refer to different places
rag- start, but leave in the end when they die Deus ex Machina
in Pirates scene - Unknown past for the characters in the Birthday Party while in R&GAD, the characters don't know their past but it is defined by Shakespeare Lack of clarity in terms of past:
- motivation dictated by the plot of Hamlet Undefined past of characters leading to confusion of the play. Lack of catharsis No foils Relief of sexual tension that is resolved Christian play Pinter is the only one that follows no mold. All characters flashback to a previous event or memory--defined by their undefined past.
Defined by actions vs. defined by past:
Ros and Guil are defined by their actions and what they are doing
In The Birthday Party, the characters are preoccupied with their pasts.. piano, soggy cereal etc. all characters defined by their pasts No monologue