Tom Stoppard: A Critic of the Modern Age

Topics: Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Modern history Pages: 4 (1398 words) Published: April 3, 2002
Tom Stoppard

Tom Stoppard: A Critic of The Modern Age Tom Stoppard is one of the twentieth century's most interesting and creative playwrights. He uses his art form to criticize society's inability to handle the thought that we are governed by chaos. The modern world has created fate as an excuse for not doing anything to shape or change our outcome. Stoppard uses his plays as a mirror held up to society, showing his audience the ridiculousness of leaving everything up to fate. Tom Stoppard is a contemporary playwright living in Great Britain. Stoppard created modern characters to reflect modern attitudes, and most specifically, modern flaws. In each case he shows that the characters representing modern men will readily believe that their future cannot be changed and that they are not responsible for their own acts. He uses different characters in vastly different circumstances to make and criticize this same point. In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Stoppard cleverly removes the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from the play of Hamlet, extends Shakespeare's caricatures of them and makes them modern. The play is now about how Rosencrantz and Guildenstern present the viewer with an image of modern attitudes. They never perceive any kind of order in the universe. To them everything is completely random. On the other hand, the Player represents the epitomy of a person in denial of chaos. To him everything is set in stone, even death. Throughout the course of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Stoppard mixes three different sets of characters that are crucial to Shakespeare's Hamlet. These groups are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the troupe of players called the Tragedians and the main cast of Hamlet. The cast of Hamlet only speak in Shakespearean language and all of their lines are taken from the text of Hamlet. These characters voice Stoppard's opinion on how people should be. They have a purpose. Although Hamlet's purpose may be to avenge...

Bibliography: Stoppard, Tom., Arcadia, New York, Samuel French,
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