Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Author:Tom Stoppard Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is the fabulously inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the worm’s-eye view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play. In Tom Stoppard’s best-known work, this Shakespearean Laurel and Har... more »dy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads our two heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.
In this witty, erudite comedy, the author has had the brilliant idea of taking two of Shakespeare's classic nonentities -- Hamlet's school friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern -- and elevating them to the center of dramatic action. By the same token, Mr. Stoppard has relegated Hamlet, Ophelia, Claudius, Gertrude, and Polonius to secondary roles, mere foils for the actions and springs for the ruminations of the two principle characters, who seem to have more in common with T.S. Eliot's Profrock and Samuel Beckett's Vladimir and Estragon than with their Shakespearean namesakes. The result is a haunting, dazzling play which one reviewer described as 'the Court of Elsinore seen from the wings by two attendant gentlemen who know nothing about themselves except what they can pick up from the cryptic lines they overhear.« less