why did Stoppard choose to make the play about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet?
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Stoppards chooses this play (one of Shakespeare's most tragic) as a subject of comedy and "what could have beens." It's fun and entertaining. He directly quotes Shakespeare whenever possible, but he also completely re-writes the plot to serve his purpose of entertaining the reader. These two characters only had small roles in Hamlet; this allowed Stoppard to use a bit of liscense and make the characters his own. There weren't any great ideas or prior knowledge to interfere with who he wanted them to become in his own work.............
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead