Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: A Quest for Meaning 11th Grade

Tom Stoppard´s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a postmodernist adaptation of the lives of two seemingly appurtenant characters from Shakespeare´s Hamlet. In the story, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern search for meaning in their isolated existence as they are dragged towards a preordained fate. Their attempts to understand occurrences and to escape from the metaphorical spiderweb that ensnares them are often thwarted as a result of their illogical methods.
Throughout the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are tormented by confusion as they unsuccessfully search for meaning in their lives. An existentialist approach to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s plight suggests that they will be unable to influence their future or find meaning in the world no matter what approach they take. Stoppard suggests that part of their problem lies in their lack of personal identity. When they first encounter the Player, Rosencrantz has a moment of confusion about his identity, saying “My name is Guildenstern, and this is Rosencrantz…I’m sorry – his name is Guildenstern and I’m Rosencrantz” (Stoppard 22). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's uncertain identities make it difficult for other...

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