Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Category: Literature
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Pages:  2
Words:  647
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The importance of being Earnest relates to the notion that The plotline of an absurdist drama, if any exists, generally ends up where it started— nothing has been accomplished and characters are the same at the end of the play as they were at the start in the same way that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead does.

While the importance of being Earnests plotline ends off where it begun with only slight changes, Earnest still being Earnest yet not fooling anybody. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead results in the two haracters dead, and can be describes as starting where it began through the title. A sit is the first thing that people read, it is natual that to know that they are dead and thats exactly where the play ends In The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde utilizes setting in order to shape the characters in the play and demonstrate the hypocrisy of Victorian values. For instance, in Act I, Algernon’s flat is being described as luxuriously and artistically furnished with the sound of a piano…in the adjoining room. This provides some background to Algernon’s character, showing that he is part of the elite class with great wealth and class.

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As a result, this gives the audience expectations of Algernon’s character. Jack’s Manor House in the countryside has the same lavishness as Algernon’s flat in London, with “a flight of gray stone steps” leading up to the house and a garden…full of roses. Usually, the countryside and city are supposed to mark a sharp contrast. In addition, Cecily and Gwendolen are parallel characters, possessing the same traits and living the same routine. Jack’s character in the city and in the country are analogous. This demonstrates that upper class people of the Victorian society uphold the same values no matter where they reside.

In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Stoppard utilizes setting or lack of it to demonstrate confusion and meaninglessness of the world. For example, Stoppard begins the play “in a place without any visible character” . This demonstrates that there is no specified setting in the play, which becomes confusing to both the characters in the play and the audience watching as there is no information for the audience to carry out any expectations of the play. Stoppard also mentions that Guildenstern “gets up but has nowhere to go” and his attention was “directed at his environment or lack of it”. These stage directions at the beginning of the play add to the absurdism and the confusion. The lack of setting in the first act highlights the meaninglessness and randomness of the world Stoppard is trying to portray. In the second half of the first act, at the same time Guildenstern tosses a coin and finds that it was tails, “a lighting change sufficient to alter the exterior mood into interior”, changing the setting from outside to the inside of the castle . Act two also takes place in the castle, connecting this play to Hamlet.

Not only does this demonstrate interrelationship of the plays, but also allows the audience to make sense of things as Hamlet maintains a chronological flow of events. Additionally, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern remain in the castle, mostly at the same place with a lot of inaction, demonstrating the pointlessness of the world and the idleness and passivity in absurdist philosophy.

Moreover, Act Three opens in “pitch darkness”, which again creates confusion and demonstrates randomness of the world. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern then find that they are on a boat. Guildenstern comments that “one is free on a boat”, demonstrating that they do not have to decide the course in which it is going, but are allowed to do whatever they like on the boat. This demonstrates that life is similar to a boat–people have no power over their own fates, but they have the ability to make smaller decisions in their lives.

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved from