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Ross and Guil Are Dead Summary


             Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two well-dressed Elizabethan
             men in the middle of a coin-spinning game. Their location is
             featureless. Whoever calls the coin correctly wins it, and
             Rosencrantz has been calling heads and winning dozens of
             times. While he feels guilty about taking so much money from
             his friend, he does not see the consistent "heads" tosses as
             peculiar at all. Conversely, Guildenstern doesn't care about the
             money, but he is disturbed by the lengthening series of "heads"
             tosses. Rosencrantz is caught up in the game, but Guildenstern
             wants to think about it theoretically. He begins thinking about
             the laws of probability, focusing on the idea that if six monkeys
             were thrown up in the air repeatedly, they would land on their
             heads and tails about equally often. He tries to calculate the idea
             of an "even chance" in his head: he just can't believe that the
             coin could land heads-up so many times in a row if there was a
             fifty-fifty chance each time that it would land tails. Rosencrantz,
             however, continues to be embarrassed at his success, calling it
             "boring," which irritates Guildenstern, who is very interested in
             what is going on. Rosencrantz calls out that heads has come up
             eighty-five times: a new record for him. Guildenstern gets
             angrier, asking what Rosencrantz would have thought if the
             coins had come down against him eighty-five times. Not
             understanding that, in terms of probability, this outcome would
             have been no different, Rosencrantz simply tells him he would
             suspect that the coins were fake. Guildenstern wants
             Rosencrantz to feel some awe, or even fear, at the strangeness of
             the results of their game, but Rosencrantz cannot be moved.
             Guildenstern imagines possible reasons that this could be
             happening: he is willing it out of some unremembered guilt, or
             God is willing it, or time has stopped and they are


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