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R&G are Dead Act I

Quotes and Review

Shawn Layton

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of R&G are Dead Act I

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead Act I Stoppard's title is a direct quotation from Shakespeare's play.

How does this work on several levels? Can they escape the fate written in Shakespeare's play? We were sent for The Absurd Stage Directions Theatre of the Absurd Guildenstern Questions Player Favorite Quotes A weaker man might be moved to re-examine his faith, if
in nothing else at least in the law of probability.

I'm relieved. At least we can still count on self-interest as a predictable factor ...I suppose it's the last to go.

Is that what you imagine? Is that it? No fear? Fear! The crack that might flood your brain with light!

Keep tight hold and continue while there's time.

...there are precedents for mystical encounters of various kinds, or to be less extreme, a choice of persuasions to put it down to fancy...

All your life you live so close to the truth, it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye, and when something nudges it into outline it is like being ambushed by a grotesque.

But we are comparatively fortunate; we might have been left to sift the whole field of human nomenclature, like two blind men looting a bazaar for their own portraits...At least we've been presented with alternatives.--But not choice. We do on stage the things that are supposed to
happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance somewhere else.

Guil: Well..aren't you going to change into your costume?

Player: I never change out of it, sir.

Guil: Always in character.

Player: That's it. Guildenstern begins the game dominating, but ends up losing.
Why? Where does momentum turn?

What is the significance of this scene?

Who wants to play?

What makes the game challenging?

And this is a vehicle for what...? A phrase referring to 20th century works that depict the absurdity of the modern human condition, often with implicit reference to humanity’s loss or lack of religious, philosophical, or cultural roots. Such works depict the individual as essentially isolated and alone, even when surrounded by other people and things.

Although drama has been the medium of choice for Absurdist writers, the term may be applied to any work of literature/art that stresses an existential outlook, that is, one depicting the lonely, confused, and often anguished individual in an utterly bewildering universe. Because writers associated with this movement believe that the only way represent the absurdity of the modern condition is to write in an absurd manner, the literature of the Absurd is as bizarre in style as it is in content.

Conventions (plot, dialogue) are routinely flouted, as is the notion that a work of literature should be unified and coherent. The resulting scenes, actions, and dialogue are usually disconnected, repetitive, and intentionally nonsensical.
Such works are comic, but with obvious and grotesque tragic dimensions.

From The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms Note: Two Elizabethans passing the time in a place without any visible character.
Note: Guil is well alive to the oddity of it. He is not worried about the money, but he is worried by the implications…
Note: …his attention being directed at his environment or lack of it.
Note: Simultaneously—a lighting change sufficient to alter the exterior mood into interior, but nothing violent. How might this be the critical line from this play?
Stoppard is using our reaction to and our inability to distinguish R & G from Hamlet. What is his purpose in having characters who are almost identical? What problems arise if R & G cannot recognize and distinguish themselves? What does it all add up to? Don't you discriminate at all? Existentialism A philosophical school whose proponents maintain that existence precedes essence.

Existentialists concern themselves with humanity's very being, with its perpetual, anguished struggle to exist. They presume that individuals have free will and are thus entirely responsible for their actions.

Even as existentialists reject deterministic systems of fate or predestination, they also reject notions that immutable or absolute value systems exist to guide humanity and that human reason can adequately explain the universe. Existentialists Meaning? They assert that individuals
freely construct and use (or choose not to use) their own value systems. Conundrum The attempt to create meaning and morality in a world without defined guideposts and rules, combined with the belief that freedom and responsibility rest squarely with the individual, generates a particularly trenchant anxiety for the individual. Thus... although existentialism holds out the possibility of an improved existence by positing the individual as the engine of change, it also runs the risk of fostering despair, hopelessness, and nihilism. Jean Paul Sartre
"man makes himself" men and woman can "make themselves" through exercising their free will, but that necessitates "engagement" in the social sphere-- Existentialists of the Sartre school: tend to stress the alienation of individuals as well as their essential--and inescapable--loneliness and uncertainty

They also explore the reactions of individuals to predicaments accentuating humanity's isolation, hence the earnest attempts by the responsible to face such situations even as the irresponsible unsuccessfully try to evade them.
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