Escondido Public Library


Rosencrantz & Guidenstern are Dead

by Tom Stoppard

Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead is a fairly short play based on a line ("Rosencratz and Guildenstern are dead") from Shakespeare's Hamlet. The play follows the two minor characters: Rosencratz and Guildenstern as they act behind the stage. Weaving in and out of the original story, the reader is able to get a better glimpse at these two characters as they struggle with their own issues about reality, life, and identity. Rosencratz and Guildenstern struggle to find some solid ground in a world were nothing, not even probability, makes sense.

To say this play is fantastic would be an understatement. The idea behind the play is simple enough; yet, the manner in which Stoppard commenced to write it and the bigger ideas about life that he incorporates within the plot are pure genius. The play does have its moments of comedy (in fact, most of it is comedy), but underneath the comic facade, it holds even deeper thoughts about the meaning of life.

I would definitely recommend this book to others for the very fact that it is for everyone. Even though it is based on Shakespeare, it is not Shakespeare. The language is easy to understand and the comedy is for everyone. Yet, I believe that those who would appreciate it the most are those who have read some Shakespeare, especially Hamlet.

Jana, 17


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