The Player Quotes in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
We have no control. Tonight we play to the court. Or the night after. Or to the tavern. Or not.
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…
Everything has to be taken on trust; truth is only that which is taken to be true. It's the currency of living. There may be nothing behind it, but it doesn't make any difference so long as it is honoured. One acts on assumptions.
Do you call that an ending?—with practically everyone on his feet? My goodness no—over your dead body.
It's what the actors do best. They have to exploit whatever talent is given to them, and their talent is dying.
I extract significance from melodrama, a significance which it does not in fact contain; but occasionally, from out of this matter, there escapes a thin beam of light that, seen at the right angle, can crack the shell of mortality.
On the contrary, it's the only kind they do believe. They're conditioned to it. I had an actor once who was condemned to hang for stealing a sheep…so I got permission to have him hanged in the middle of a play…and you wouldn't believe it, he just wasn't convincing! It was impossible to suspend one's disbelief—and what with the audience jeering and throwing peanuts, the whole thing was a disaster!
Life is a gamble, at terrible odds—if it was a bet you wouldn't take it.