Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

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Guildenstern Character Analysis

Like Rosencrantz, Guildenstern is a minor character in Hamlet expanded by Stoppard into a protagonist. Stoppard describes Guildenstern as someone who, when losing a coin toss ninety times in a row, will be more concerned about the implications of the situation than by the lost change. The self-described 'dominant personality' of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern pair, Guildenstern, like Rosencrantz, is often fearful and foolish but he can also be bullying, easily angered, and bossy, and possesses a firmer grasp on reality and a stronger memory than Rosencrantz. With Rosencrantz, Guildenstern's struggles against passivity, hopelessness, and the inescapable structure of Hamlet's plot constitute a play-long meditation on death that ends in the foregone conclusion of his own passing.

Guildenstern Quotes in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead quotes below are all either spoken by Guildenstern or refer to Guildenstern. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Death Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Grove Press edition of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead published in 1967.
Act 1 Quotes

The sun came up about as often as it went down, in the long run, and a coin showed heads about as often as it showed tails. Then a messenger arrived. We had been sent for. Nothing else happened. Ninety-two coins spun consecutively have come down heads ninety-two consecutive times…

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker), Rosencrantz
Related Symbols: The Coin
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

In this section, Guildenstern considers the improbability of their situation: he and Rosencrantz have tossed ninety-two coins and each coin has landed face-up. The more curious and clever of the two, Guildenstern lays out the possible explanations for the phenomenon, including "divine intervention," and then introduces a tricky syllogism. In philosophy, a syllogism is logical statement consisting of two factual statements—the premises—and the consequence of those two statements—the conclusion. Syllogisms (both correct and incorrect) appear throughout Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting for Godot"—this speech is one of many allusions to the absurdist play, which also features two male characters engaging in comic repartee in a sort of theatrical limbo.

Here, Guildenstern describes the "messenger" as a disruptive, disembodied presence, one that pushes the two characters toward their improbable and tragic future. The messenger's arrival marks the beginning of a long chain of events, each one unlikely, unlucky and yet inevitable. The ninety-two tosses are a miniaturized version of the play's general plot. 

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There were always questions. To exchange one set for another is no great matter.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker)
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

Gertrude, Claudius and Polonius have just asked Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to comfort Hamlet and uncover the "cause of [his] lunacy." They then depart, leaving the two characters even more befuddled, in a state of confused agitation. 

In this section, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern spout a series of comic non sequiturs — though their dialogue does not adhere to the typical logic of conversation, the play's essential absurdity bubbles up, reminding us that the world is unknowable, both on stage and off stage. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern always have questions — they never understand the task at hand or the plot's progression — and yet the questions themselves are irrelevant because no answers exist. In other words, while questions are an essential part of the play, their content, their subject matter, is interchangeable. This statement can comfort readers, too: we should always question the text but we should never focus on answers of simple solutions to our questions. 

There's a logic at work—it's all done for you, don't worry. Enjoy it. Relax. To be taken in hand and led, like being a child again…--it's like being given a prize, an extra slice of childhood…

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker)
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

Upon glimpsing the complexity of the situation and the extent of his own confusion, Rosencrantz feels a stab of panic; Guildenstern, on the other hand, remains calmer and attempts to soothe his friend. Guildenstern does not seem to think that they must understand the larger situation in order to play their part. 

Despite their different reactions, the two characters exhibit a similar fatalism, making no mention of how they might alter their shared fate. Action is clearly impossible, here. In fact, Guildenstern calls the complete lack of free will a "prize, an extra slice of childhood." (The mention of childhood seems particularly appropriate given Rosencrantz's juvenile whining: "I want to go home.") While this sunny outlook and resignation don't last throughout the play — Guildenstern often despairs at their circumstances — Stoppard does present this as a curious alternative to anguish, particularly if we understand the play to have a "circular" structure, a sort of closed loop. 

Of course, the very idea of "being a child again" is antithetical to the play's almost obsessive interest in time, death, and age. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are hurtling towards death, and their passivity does not reverse the march of time. 

Act 2 Quotes

Wheels have been set in motion, and they have their own pace, to which we are…condemned. Each move is dictated by the previous one—that is the meaning of order. If we start being arbitrary it'll just be a shambles: at least, let us hope so. Because if we happened, just happened to discover, or even suspect, that our spontaneity was part of their order, we'd know that we were lost.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker), Rosencrantz
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

At the beginning of Act 2, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern end a conversation with Hamlet, who then exits with Polonius. Alone on stage, the two protagonists realize that they have made no headway: Hamlet has kept the upper hand and divulged very little useful information about his condition. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are as befuddled as usual, and Guildenstern remarks that they are "condemned" to a narrative over which they have no control.

Most obviously, this is a remark about the impossibility of free will, particularly within the theater. The two characters follow two major scripts: the original Shakespearean storyline and Stoppard's own words. Guildenstern also voices an even more troubling thought, wondering if their "spontaneity" is also inscribed within a larger "order." In other words, perhaps any attempt to break free of the play's logic is vain and impossible, since the play's logic accounts for these actions, as well. This is an absurd, circular proposition, and yet it is in keeping with Stoppard's world, one without logic or any hope of escape. 

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker), Rosencrantz
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Guildenstern makes this statement partway through another digressive, illogical conversation with Rosencrantz, who cannot even remember the past few minutes. He tosses a coin, checks it, then looks away, distracted. His inattention provokes Guildenstern's own non sequitur, a statement that has no connection to the conversation. (Of course, a very subtle connection does exist, insofar as Rosencrantz has only recently yelled "Fire!" for no apparent reason.) 

Here, Guildenstern combines two idioms: to cross a bridge when you come to it (or, to deal with a problem only when you must) and to burn a bridge (or, to sever ties with someone else). While this marriage of the two expressions is startling, it is not unrelated to the play's plot. The two characters do only deal with problems as the problems arise and they do destroy relationships with other characters, including Hamlet himself. 

This quote, coming in the middle of a scene about memory and the continuity of identity, does not move away from these thematic concerns. (And yet it is also moving in its own way as a standalone proverb.) As soon as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern cross these proverbial bridges, they forget the whole experience, remembering "the smell of smoke," the "presumption that once our eyes watered" (that they had some kind of emotional or physical reaction to the experience), and nothing more. 

You don't understand the humiliation of it—to be tricked out of the single assumption which makes our existence viable—that somebody is watching

Related Characters: The Player (speaker), Rosencrantz, Guildenstern
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

In Act 2, the Tragedians arrive at Elsinore, where they plan to perform "The Murder of Gonzago" at Hamlet's request. The latter has just retired for the night, leaving Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the actors on stage. The Player confronts the two men and explains that their behavior — they walked away midway through the Tragedians' performance — has offended the troupe.

Here, Stoppard again reminds us that his play works on many levels: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are audience members, in a sense, and yet they are also merely characters played by actors. The "somebody watching" in this section is not only Rosencrantz or Guildenstern, but also anyone watching Stoppard's play. The play-within-a-play structure of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is an allusion to Shakespeare's original, which features the same device, as well as a commentary on the similarities between life in and outside the theater. Of course, actors can only perform if "somebody is watching," but all of us, even off stage, must act and speak before witnesses, people who can attest to our reality. 

Do you call that an ending?—with practically everyone on his feet? My goodness no—over your dead body.

Related Characters: The Player (speaker), Rosencrantz, Guildenstern
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

The Tragedians begin their rehearsal of "The Murder of Gonzago" only to be interrupted by Hamlet and a wailing Ophelia, who come onstage and promptly break off their engagement. When the tumult has died down and the actors begin their rehearsal anew, Guildenstern asks: "Wasn't that the end?" The Player is shocked, and adamant that a play's ending involve multiple deaths.

Humor plays an essential role in this passage, as it does throughout the text. The Player uses the idiom "over your dead body" to express his dismay at Guildenstern's question; however, the expression also functions on a literal level, as no ending is complete without a pile of dead bodies, in the Player's estimation. Again, the play within a play sheds light on Stoppard's work and Hamlet itself, both of which end with the deaths of major characters. By virtue of his occupational knowledge, the Player understands much about the shared fate of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. While this line does indeed foreshadow the play's grim ending, almost every interaction and pun in the play has a similar effect. Even the title, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, lays out the central plot point. 

Act 3 Quotes

Free to move, speak, extemporize, and yet. We have not been cut loose. Our truancy is defined by one fixed star, and our drift represents merely a slight change of angle to it: we may seize the moment, toss it around while the moments pass…but we are brought round full circle to face again the single immutable fact—that we, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, bearing a letter from one king to another, are taking Hamlet to England.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker), Rosencrantz, Hamlet
Related Symbols: The Boat
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:

Act 3 begins with darkness: only slowly do the protagonists (and readers) understand that the action has moved to a boat bound for England. In this section, the two have not yet read the letter entrusted to them by Claudius, containing Hamlet's death sentence. Yet the moment is still has an ominous weight to it, a sense of impending doom. 

While only present in the final act, the boat symbolizes a few of the play's major themes, including death and human agency. Guildenstern explains that the ship moves toward a "fixed star" — we can think of this fixed star as death, the inevitable end point of all lives and all stories. The two characters may entertain the illusion that they're free ("to move, speak, extemporize") but they're stuck on a boat they cannot steer. In other words, they're stuck living out a story that they cannot control. The boat represents the ultimate paradox of free will: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern experience moments of apparent freedom while both acknowledging that they "have not been cut loose."

He couldn't even be sure of mixing us up.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker), Claudius
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have concluded that Claudius gave them each the same sum, since he cannot "discriminate between" the two. The quote in question, which follows this statement, is representative of the entire text insofar as it marries obvious humor and more unsettling existential worries. On the one hand, Rosencrantz speaks of the King's twofold confusion: he is not certain of the two characters' identities, nor is he certain of his own uncertainty. This brings to mind earlier comic moments, including Rosencrantz' own (very vocal) befuddlement and his faulty recollection of his own name. On the other hand, this quote raises key questions about the self: Are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern truly different characters (particularly if they follow one single trajectory throughout the play)? Can you have an identity if you cannot control your own story? 

No, no, no…Death is…not. Death isn't. You take my meaning. Death is the ultimate negative. Not being. You can't not-be on a boat.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Boat
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

This is Guildenstern's earnest reply to Rosencrantz's question: "Do you think death could possibly be on a boat?" As usual, Guildenstern proves more thoughtful than Rosencrantz, and yet his meditations are dead ends — they further upset him and they're at odds with Rosencrantz's more carefree attitude. 

In this moment, we again encounter the tension between death onstage and death offstage, theatrical death and actual death. Guildenstern holds firm to his conviction that an actor cannot fake his or her demise since death simply "isn't." In other words, Guildenstern considers Rosencrantz' question ridiculous: the verb "to be" and the noun "death" cannot coexist in a sentence, since death is simply non-existence and non-being ("not to be," as Hamlet himself famously says). While Guildenstern's claim makes a certain amount of sense, we should also consider Stoppard's textual allusions to Greek mythology, particularly to the River Styx and Charon the ferryman. Stoppard is not the first to represent death as a boat: in the Ancient Greek tradition, dead souls crossed the River Styx (to the afterlife) on a boat captained by Charon. This obvious reference is a sort of counterpoint to Guildenstern's claim that art cannot represent death. 

Let us keep things in proportion. Assume, if you like, that they're going to kill him. Well, he is a man, he is mortal, death comes to us all, etcetera, and consequently he would have died anyway, sooner or later. Or to look at it from the social point of view—he's just one man among many, the loss would be well within reason and convenience. And then again, what is so terrible about death? As Socrates so philosophically put it, since we don't know what death is, it is illogical to fear it. It might be…very nice…Or to look at it another way—we are little men, we don't know the ins and outs of the matter, there are wheels within wheels, etcetera—it would be presumptuous of us to interfere with the designs of fate or even of kings. All in all, I think we'd be well advised to leave well alone.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker), Rosencrantz, Hamlet
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

Rehearsing their upcoming interaction with the King of England, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern open Cladius' note and discover their role in a plot against Hamlet. This surprises and dismays them, but the two characters soon come to terms with the situation and rationalize their inaction.

They do so by sticking to the play's own disturbing logic: death is inevitable and free will impossible. If they involved themselves or attempted to save Hamlet they would be acting out of character; they would be questioning the play's crucial determinism, which they have relied upon for two and a half acts already. Guildenstern calls any hypothetical interference "presumptuous." Stoppard again alludes to Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" in this section — Guildenstern outlines a lazy syllogism when he mentions Socrates and says "he is a man, he is mortal, death comes to us all, etcetera." Vladimir and Estragon, the two characters in Beckett's play, are in a perpetual state of confusion, unable to comprehend the simple, rigorous logic of a syllogism. Again and again, they begin their attempts with the premise that "all men are mortal." Rosencrantz and Guildenstern speak in similar circles, reaching dubious conclusions. 

We've travelled too far, and our momentum has taken over; we move idly towards eternity, without possibility of reprieve or hope of explanation.

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Boat
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:

Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the Tragedians discover that Hamlet has disappeared during the Pirates' attack. The two protagonists are at a loss, since they cannot give the King of England the letter if they do not also deliver Hamlet. And yet as usual, they rationalize their inaction and make no effort to change their unfortunate situation. 

However, Stoppard does not depict their response as reprehensible or disappointing; instead, it follows the play's own logic. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have no free will and can only act out the parts they inherited from Shakespeare's work. The literal and the abstract converge in this moment, as the two characters "move idly towards eternity" on the boat as well as in the script. And the noun "momentum" does similar work, reminding us that our protagonists are mere objects in space that obey physical laws as well as the endearing pawns of kings and queens. They are indeed "idle" here as they contemplate their bleak futures, but this idleness is an acceptance, an acknowledgment of their limited roles. 

No…no…not for us, not like that. Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over…Death is not anything…death is not…It's the absence of presence, nothing more…the endless time of never coming back…a gap you can't see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes no sound…

Related Characters: Guildenstern (speaker)
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, along with the Tragedians, discover that the letter in their possession now orders their execution rather than Hamlet's execution; Guildenstern panics and attacks the Player, who feigns his death and then brushes himself off, unharmed. This final ironic gesture seems to overwhelm Guildenstern: this short, impressionistic speech is one of his last lines in the play. 

Guildenstern circles back to his first argument, dismissing the Tragedians' stage deaths as unconvincing and misleading. An actor cannot mime death because death simply "is not..." Note the abundance of negative constructions in this quote, as well as the obvious contradictions: "the absence of presence" and "the endless time of never coming back." Even the ellipses, the breaks between Guildenstern's disordered thoughts, are "absences" — they are tiny visual and grammatical gaps that hint at Guildenstern's impending disappearance. Each one contains all the "not being" of death. 

The mention of wind in this quote also brings to mind the characters' repeated, bumbling attempts to locate the cardinal points according to the sun's position or the wind's direction. No wind ever blows through Stoppard's play because the characters inhabit a theatrical limbo, a sort of no-man's-land between life and death. 

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

Related Characters: The Two Ambassadors (speaker), Rosencrantz, Guildenstern
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

Rosencrantz disappears, followed by Guildenstern; a flood of light illuminates a stage littered with corpses. Only Fortinbras (the Norwegian crown prince), Horatio and the Ambassadors have survived the tragedy, and the English Ambassadors announce that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been killed in England. 

This remark, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead," is essentially the play's last intelligible line, since music and darkness drown out Horatio's final speech; in other words, these five words bookend the entire work, raising questions about time and circularity. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have endless, meandering discussions about the "one direction" of time —  however, the play ends right where it began, and we can easily imagine Rosencrantz and Guildenstern popping back into existence and pulling out another betting coin. As per the play's title, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been dead since the first scene.

The words "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" form the subject of the sentence. The two characters grapple with their individual identities for three acts and yet in the final scene, the Ambassadors refer to the two distinct characters as a single unit; in this way, Stoppard ends the work on an unsettling note, at once summing up and dismissing his two protagonist's fears. The two characters are memorialized as one. 

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Guildenstern Character Timeline in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

The timeline below shows where the character Guildenstern appears in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Individual Identity Theme Icon
The World's Absurdity Theme Icon
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The curtain rises on an entirely non-descript set where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, in full Elizabethan costume, have been betting on coin after coin toss for a long... (full context)
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Free Will Theme Icon
The World's Absurdity Theme Icon
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern continue to toss coins, which continue to fall on "heads" (it's now been 85 times... (full context)
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To Rosencrantz's uncomprehending surprise, Guildenstern goes off on a long rant trying to make rational sense of their situation. Rosencrantz... (full context)
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hear music and the Tragedians march in, carrying their instruments and lead by the Player,... (full context)
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Guildenstern stops them and asks where they're going and how they came this way. The Player... (full context)
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When Guildenstern asks about the potential of "getting caught up in the action," the Player happily sends... (full context)
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...He spits on Rosencrantz's offer to buy a performance with a single coin. He accepts Guildenstern's offer to bet on coin tosses, which all fall on "heads." He accepts Guildenstern's offer... (full context)
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In order to make the Player pay his bet with a play, Guildenstern asks him about what play the Tragedians might perform. The Player is puzzled by the... (full context)
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Rosencrantz exclaims that the coin had fallen on tails and throws the coin at Guildenstern, who catches it. The lights suddenly change the stage from exterior to interior. An alarmed... (full context)
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Rosencrantz is upset and Guildenstern tries to comfort him, both of them jumbling their words: "it's all stopping to a... (full context)
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern review Claudius' request, become increasingly perplexed about whether and how to take action, but stay... (full context)
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Hamlet crosses the stage reading and exits. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern practice being in character by addressing each other by name, but they mix up their... (full context)
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Guildenstern tells Rosencrantz to go see if Hamlet's there. Rosencrantz peeks offstage where he reports seeing... (full context)
Act 2
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Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet's conversation continues from the previous scene, though what they're saying is at first... (full context)
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Polonius enters and calls out to them. Hamlet tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that Polonius is a baby, and then walks upstage with Rosencrantz. Polonius says he has... (full context)
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are reluctant to speak, hemming and hawing between them. Guildenstern suggests that they "made some... (full context)
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Remembering Hamlet's comments about the wind's direction, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to figure out which way is South, wondering if it's in the direction of... (full context)
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern give up on the question of direction and wonder instead whether someone will come on... (full context)
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Rosencrantz shouts "Fire!" and, when Guildenstern leaps up, Rosencrantz says he's just "demonstrating the misuse of free speech. To prove that... (full context)
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...with a short speech written by Hamlet and inserted into it. Hamlet greets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and exits. "So you've caught up," Guildenstern says to the Player, who responds coldly, "Not... (full context)
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The Player reveals the cause of his cold manner: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern left in the middle of the Tragedians' play, leading the Tragedians to act on for... (full context)
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Guildenstern and Rosencrantz tell the Player they've made it up to him by booking him a... (full context)
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The Player starts to leave but Guildenstern tries first calmly, then desperately, to get him to stay and advise them on what... (full context)
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Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and the Player next try to pinpoint the cause of Hamlet's state, a conversation that... (full context)
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern reflect on Rosencrantz's coin trick, which Guildenstern was impressed by. They decide to "think of... (full context)
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...He loses confidence. Looking offstage, he notices Hamlet's coming and runs back downstage to tell Guildenstern. Guildenstern laments ever getting Hamlet "into conversation." Hamlet enters and pauses, deciding whether or not... (full context)
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...Tragedians they're not "getting across." He calls for them to start Act Two and, when Guildenstern expresses surprise that the dumbshow hasn't just ended, the Player is astonished that Guildenstern would... (full context)
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The dumbshow continues with the Player narrating everything for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern while now also playing Lucianus, the Player-Brother's nephew, who, devastated by his uncle's marriage to... (full context)
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...calls the play "a slaughterhouse" and says it thus brings out the Tragedians' best. When Guildenstern protests that actors know nothing of death, the Player insists to the contrary. "[T]heir talent... (full context)
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...down in the exact positions where the two spies died. The figures are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Still prone, they argue about which way is east. Guildenstern says "they're waiting to see... (full context)
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Before Rosencrantz can protest, Claudius calls Guildenstern's name from offstage. Claudius and Gertrude enter. Claudius explains that Hamlet has killed Polonius in... (full context)
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...Rosencrantz that the King will throw him away once he's done with him. He orders Guildenstern to bring him to the king. The three approach one side of the stage and... (full context)
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Lighting changes to Exterior. Guildenstern, pensive, reflects that "it doesn't seem enough; to have breathed such significance." Rosencrantz reflects that... (full context)
Act 3
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...stage is in pitch darkness. There's a faint sound of the sea. In the dark, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz call out to each other and, as usual, mix one another up. "Is... (full context)
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern wonder what to do and decide not to move. They wonder if someone will come... (full context)
...upstage sleeping. "It's all right for him [to sleep]" Rosencrantz notes. "He's got us now," Guildenstern adds. Rosencrantz wonders what they should do and Guildenstern laments that their every action is... (full context)
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Guildenstern asks Rosencrantz how much money Claudius gave him and Rosencrantz insists "the same as you"... (full context)
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Rosencrantz despairs that they have nothing, and Guildenstern reminds him that they're en route to England on Claudius' order, all the particulars of... (full context)
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"We're not getting anywhere," Guildenstern exclaims. "Not even England," Rosencrantz laments, "I don't believe in it anyway." He explains that... (full context)
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...Rosencrantz demands to know what they're going to say to the King of England and Guildenstern launches into a role-play with Rosencrantz as King of England and Guildenstern as Rosencrantz and... (full context)
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Guildenstern long-windedly justifies letting Hamlet be killed – he would, being mortal, have died anyway, and... (full context)
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Morning rises on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with Hamlet behind them reading on a deck chair beneath the umbrella. Rosencrantz announces he's... (full context)
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A recorder sounds and Guildenstern, excited, calls it a sound "out of the void" and the promise "that something is... (full context)
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The Player explains to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that they had to hide in the barrels to escape as stowaways after Claudius was... (full context)
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The Player asks Rosencrantz and Guildenstern if they've spoken with Hamlet. They reply: "it's possible" but "pointless." Guildenstern explains that they... (full context)
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...It does not mean he isn't. Very often, it does not mean anything at all." Guildenstern lists a long list of his symptoms ("pregnant replies, mystic allusions," "invocations of camels, chameleons,... (full context)
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...shouting with swords out in a great hullabaloo. Eventually, Hamlet, the Player, and Rosencrantz with Guildenstern jump into the three barrels on stage to hide. Lights dim, sound fades out, and... (full context)
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Rosencrantz tries to make conversation about the weather but Guildenstern shouts at him to shut up. "Do you think conversation is going to help us... (full context)
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Rosencrantz, trying to convince Guildenstern they can still go through with the plan, points out they still have the letter,... (full context)
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"Where we went wrong," Guildenstern says quietly, "was getting on a boat. We can move, of course, change direction, rattle... (full context)
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With "fear, vengeance, scorn" Guildenstern balks at the experience of "actors" and grabs a dagger from the Player's belt that... (full context)
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...Player lies silent, the Tragedians applaud appreciatively and the Player rises. "You see," he tells Guildenstern, "it is the kind [of death] they do believe in." He reveals the dagger he... (full context)
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In an exhausted but still impatient voice, Guildenstern protests that death isn't like that "for us," that it's not "romantic" or "a game,"... (full context)