Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead occurs simultaneously with Hamlet, providing insight into the lives of two side characters as they embark on a journey to discover themselves and their purpose. Since Hamlet is so well-known, Stoppard is able to use dramatic irony very effectively to make astute observations about life and its futility as well as death and its inevitability, while still making this text incredibly humorous. This play is consistently both witty and deep, turning background characters each into lovable protagonists. The dialogue is fast-paced and there are a lot of complex stage directions which makes it easy to get lost if you’re not paying close attention, but the play is well-crafted and Stoppard’s shrew insights are unmistakable. 4/5 Stars. @amiwrite of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board
This is a humorous but nevertheless intellectual exercise in developing a behind-the-scenes parallel plotline to Hamlet involving two very minor foil characters and so, fittingly, not much happens. It's been many years since I read Stoppard's play, but I'll mention here that there was also a film made of it that was very well done.
A moste excellente Hamlet fanfic for ye olde Shakespeare buffs! This comedic tour-de-force mixes wordplay with swordplay, the existential with the ridiculous, and arrives at something both deeply profound and riotously entertaining. Highly recommended in both print and movie versions! Statement!
Despite the fact that the two characters are minor figures in Hamlet, they have much more in common with the late 20th C.
Being that the play was written in the late 1960's, they have ultimately a closer connection to Beckett than Shakespeare. A lot of great lines dealing with the human condition, like you would expect when "channeling" Shakespeare.
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