Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Shakespeare's Hamlet: Transformation by Tom Stoppard
How does Stoppard's Transformation of Hamlet reveal a shift in ideology?
Stoppard's transformation of Shakespeare's Hamlet shifts in values and world-view from the original. These changes are a result of the change in context between the two texts. The Elizabethan world-view was that of an ordered universe, where reality could be expressed through language and known law/logic was applicable. On the other hand, Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead reflects a more contemporary ideology, where the universe is inexplicable and the audience has no sense of certainty. According to this world-view, language is a confused expression of reality and there is no such thing as a logical existence. It is this difference in context between the two plays that contributes to its changed ideology.
Language serves as the fount of meaning in Hamlet. This is apparent in the confrontational dialogue between Hamlet and Gertrude:
Gertrude: Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Hamlet: Mother, you have my father much offended.
Gertrude: Come, come you answer with an idle tongue.
Hamlet: Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
Here, Hamlet is mocking the rhythm and words of Gertrude's reproaches. By echoing the...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 881 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6854 literature essays, 1853 sample college application essays, 279 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in