“How Far Is Play Key in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?”

Topics: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Samuel Beckett, Theatre of the Absurd Pages: 4 (1482 words) Published: June 1, 2011
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”- Tom Stoppard

In the play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”, the writer Tom Stoppard reveals to the reader the importance of “play” in his play and how it helps develop the plot and the characters of his literary work. Stoppard uses witty language, and satirical humour to help highlight the importance of numerous types play to the reader. Stoppard uses play as a main theme throughout his play as commentary on how play has many different interpretations, thus he uses his play as an impetus to explore this theme and allow the reader and the audience to gain a better understanding. One of the most prominent forms of play that is evident in the exposition of the play is how Stoppard plays around with the expectations of the audience as well as having both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern both tease the audience as part of their act. Stoppard begins the play with both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern already in action as if we as the audience have come “late to the action” by beginning the play with what seems to the audience as a non-sequiturs conversation “…Heads… There is an art to the building up of suspense.” Through this we as the reader are able to see how Stoppard is deliberately beginning his play in an unorthodox manner which would surprise the audience who would be hoping to follow the plot of the play from the beginning. By doing this, Stoppard is able to create an effect on both the reader as we are able to infer the audience’s expectation which have probably been diminished but nevertheless intrigued. As a reader we are also curious to know how long Stoppard will uphold this dramatic tension and leave both the reader and audience uneasy. Once we as the reader become aware of the fact that Stoppard’s play in not a conventional play that meets our expectations or the audience, we become subject to Stoppard’s world of plays awaiting anything that may come our way. In the exposition of the play, we see how the play...
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