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Transcript of Irony, Satire....
a plot device in which the audience's or reader's knowledge of events or individuals surpasses that of the characters. The words and actions therefore take a different meaning for the audience or readers than it does for the play's characters
irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected.
"Guilden: since we don't know what death is, it is illogical to fear it. It might be...very nice. Certainly it is a release from the burden of life, and for the godly, a haven, and a reward." (110)
Parody: an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.
Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
is a trope in which the intended meaning of a statement differs from the meaning that the words appear to express.
In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, Stoppard's satire focuses on ridiculing stupidity, specifically R&G's. He also criticizes people that do not take control of their own lives and leave it to fate.
'Hamlet emerges again with a letter, and replaces it, and retires, blowing out his lantern.' (111)
Rosen:"Yes, I'm afraid you're quite wrong. You must have mistaken me for someone else." (82)
"Death is the ultimate negative." (108)
The Play within a Play
• We see the full rehearsal for Murder Of Gonzago. Rosencrantz and Guilerstern see their fates being played out in front of their eyes, but are oblivious to the events of the play unfolding around them.
Guild:"I don't think you quite understand. What we are attempting is a hypothesis in which I answer for him, while you ask me questions." (47,48)
Hamlet: "That I keep your counsel and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the son of a king?"Rosen: "Take you me for a sponge my Lord?"
Pg 28 – “Player: We keep to our usual stuff, more or less, only inside out. We so on stage the things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit bein, an entrance somewhere else.”
• Player is saying what Stoppard is actually doing with the plot of Hamlet in his Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – making a parody
• Takes two insignificant characters in Hamlet and makes them main characters in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Takes seriousness of Hamlet and puts comical situations in it
Pg 56 – “Polonius: My Lord! I have news to tell you.
Hamlet (releasing ROS and mimicking): My Lord, I have news to tell you… When Roscius was an actor in Rome.
• Just imaging the great, philosophical, morally correct man mocking a babbling Polonius
• Stoppard takes the main character in Shakespeare’s play, one who was depressed most of the play, and makes him act like a child mocking his elders.
• Albeit he was acting insane on purpose during this time in both plays, Stoppard puts a new modern twist on the once witty bantering Hamlet was able to make with Polonius, now a quick retort by the use of mimicry.
"Ros: We were sent for.
Ros: That's why we're here. Traveling.
Ros: It was urgent-a matter of extreme urgency, a royal summons, his very words: official business and no questions asked-lights in the stable-yard, saddle up and off heading and hotfoot across the land, our guides outstripped in breakneck pursuit of our duty! Fear lest we come too late!!
Guil: Too late for what?
Ros: How do I know? We haven't got there yet
"Here, as before, never, so help you mercy; How strange or odd seo'er I bear myself, As i perchance hereafter shall think meet-To put on an antic disposition..."(40).
"This is the very ecstasy of love, Whose violent property fordoes itself...as oft as any passion under heaven...that hath made him mad"(47)
"'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark/ Is by a forged process of my death...The serpent that sting thy father's life/Now wears his crown"(34)
Dramatic Irony: Hamlet
Situational Irony: Hamlet
"Here, thou incestuous, murd'rous, dammed Dane,
Drink off this potion. Is thy union here? Follow my mother"(175)
In the finals scene of Hamlet Claudius wants to kill Hamlet with poison (the same poison used to kill Hamlet's father). However, the poison ends up being the death of Claudius. This is an example of situational irony because Claudius dies by the way in which he attempted to kill Hamlet.
Verbal Irony: Hamlet
"I am too much in the sun"(13)
"Ros: Oh very good! Very good! Took me in completely-didn't he take you incomplete-(claps his hands). Encore! Encore!
Player: Deaths for all ages and occasions! Deaths by suspension, convulsion, consumption, incision, execution, asphyxiation and malnutrition-! Climactic carnage, by poison and by steel-! Double deaths by duel-! Show!-
(Tragedians act out deaths in Hamlet and R&G's)
So there's an end to that-it's commonplace: light goes with life, and in the winter of your years the dark comes early
(The light has gone upstage. Only Guil and Ros are visible and Ros's clapping falters to silence)"
"A little more than kin, and less than kind"
"If indeed you find him not within this month, you shall
nose him as you go up the stairs'
"Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended....Mother, you have my father much offended"
"Ros: So we've a letter that explains everything
Guil: You've got it
Ros takes that literally. He starts to pat his pockets, etc.
Guil: What's the matter?
Ros: The letter
Guil: Have you got it?
Ros (rising fear): Have I? (Searches frantically.) Where would I have put it?
Guil: You can't have lost it.
Ros: I muse have!
Guil: That's odd-I thought he gave it to me
"Hamlet: ...That great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling clouts."
"Hamlet: That an keep your consel and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the son of a king?
Parody of Hamlet
Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are Dead
is a Parody of Hamlet. It takes minor characters found in the play of Hamlet and gives the characters of Rosencrantz and Guilderstern voices as well as individual personalities--a characteristic not found in Hamlet. Through the eyes of these minor characters, the readers/audience are able to see different opinions about major characters and gain a better understanding of the rotten events unfolding in the state of Denmark.
Pg. 89 – GUIL: You stand there! Don’t let him pass!
He positions ROS with his back to one wing, facing HAMLET’s Entrance.
GUIL positions himself next to ROS, a few feet away, so that they are covering one side of the stage, facing the opposite side. GUIL unfastens his belt. ROS does the same. They join the two belts, and hold them taut between them. ROS’s trousers slide slowly down.
HAMLET enters opposite, slowly, dragging POLONIUS’s body. He enters upstage, makes a small arc and leaves by the same side, a few feet downstage.
ROS and GUIL, holding the belts taut, stare at him in some bewilderment.
HAMLET leaves, dragging the body. They relax the strain on the belts.
Pg. 91-92 – This part of the scene is a huge blunder by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s part to retrieve Hamlet. (Too long to put all pages)
• They find him, to which he gives his “sponge” speech, which is Hamlet trying to see if the dynamic duo are clever enough to comprehend his extended metaphor of them being sponges to the king, slowly drying up to only be thrown away when the king no longer desires them.
• They do not get this at all, so they commence forth to the hidden body of Polonius. Hamlet sees Claudius off scene, so he fake bows, and escapes while the two are bowing to nothing. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are caught bowing to the wind by Claudius, and even in Hamlet they weren’t this dumb.
• This is Stoppard’s parody of the scene in which Hamlet is found and brought in for Claudius; however, Stoppard is sure to give his own twists. He makes ROS and GUIL look like utter fools, bumbling through the castle looking for the prince and his victim.
Pg. 111 – This section isn’t so much of a comedy, but it allows the audience to see the behind the scenes of what transpired in Hamlet on the boat to England.
• Most of it is the usual bantering between the two fools, but Stoppard actually lets ROS and GUIL read the letter for Hamlet’s death, and he lets us see their reactions and their decision to carry on with the orders.
o Hamlet is awake in the background remaining silent yet watching the entire time, and in doing so gives ROS and GUIL their final chance to stop with the betrayal. However, being the way they are, they somehow convince themselves that killing Hamlet, their friend since childhood, is a decent plan.
Pg. 124 – ALFRED, still in his Queen’s costume, dies by poison; the PLAYER, with rapier, kills the “KING” and duels with a fourth TRAGEDIAN, inflicting and receiving a wound. The two remaining TRAGEDIANS, the two “SPIES” dressed in the same coats as TOS and GUIL, are stabbed, as before.
And the light is fading over the deaths which take place right upstage.
• This is the final form of parody in Stoppard’s play. It is not supposed to be of a comedic nature, but actually intends to give insight to what was happening back at Elsinore Castle, and also in Hamlet.
• The TRAGEDIANS give their final scene, and also the final scene in Hamlet, in which each TRAGEDIAN dies the same way that the character each is portrayed dies.
Last Example of Parody
Pg. 117 –
GUIL: It really boils down to symptoms. Pregnant replies, mystic allusions, mistaken identities, arguing his father is his mother, that sort of thing; intimations of suicide, forgoing of exercise, loss of mirth, hits of claustrophobia not to say delusions of imprisonment; invocations of handsaws- riddles, quibbles and evasions; amnesia, paranoia, myopia; day-dreaming, hallucinations, stabbing his elders, abusing his parents, insulting his lover, and appearing hatless in public – knock-kneed, droop-stockinged and sighing like a love-sick schoolboy, which at his age is coming on a bit strong.
ROS: And talking to himself.
GUIL: And talking to himself.