Stoppard's absurd comedy, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a transformation of the Shakespeare's revenge tragedy Hamlet. They both contain common characters and events but are separated by their historical, social and literary contexts. The plays are also different in language, theatrical style, values, character and themes.
Shakespeare's Hamlet and Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead are different because of the different time periods. Shakespeare's Hamlet was written in the 1602, in the Elizabethan times, when the Church of England was well established and the start of the renaissance period had occurred. Whereas Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was ...view middle of the document...
Gertrude: Thanks Guildenstern, and gentle Rosencrantz). Whereas in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead characters are all inverted and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern now share main roles with the player. Characters such as Hamlet and Ophelia now acquire non- speaking roles or have their scene behind the main scene of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have a purpose, there purpose is to subconsciously help Claudius kill Hamlet, but in Stoppard's play they have no apparent purpose or role; they are just there to display what happens when the leave the stage of Hamlet, (the story continues back stage and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern really do have there own personalities, instead of the one we see them in Hamlet).
In Shakespeare's play Hamlet the characters are three dimensional and multipart, with many complications and difficulties, the audience is able to emotionally attach and feel for these characters. In Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead the characters are simple with little or no problems, every time the audience begins to be emotionally drawn to the situation they are pulled back away by a verbal dexterousness.
In Shakespeare's Hamlet and Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead all events occur roughly in the same sequence, this is due to the fact that Hamlet was written a long time before Rosencrantz and Guildenstern this means that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's fate was sealed from the beginning of their play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were condemned to death from the very start.
In Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead we find that there story has little and a lot to tell at once, this can be seen in being that there is no point, no structure, no purpose and no beginning to the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern don't even fully know their reasons for being there (e.g. 'Two Elizabethans passing the time in a place without any visible character'), this adds to the play being labeled absurd. There is no purpose to the play because fate is sealed, the ending is written and death is their only option. The play is made absurd by minimalist sets, meaningless dialog, and lack of character motivations, a single setting, condemned characters and a dark comic tone throughout the whole of the play.
These themes are again overturned in the play Hamlet, this play has a prefigure, beginning, purpose, structure and point and even foils, though it also contains fate (for example, Hamlet's fate is sealed when he finds out that Claudius murdered his father). Hamlet is able to determine Rosencrantz and...