Rosencrantz And GuildensternPaper Rating: Word Count: 1077 Approx Pages: 4
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, written in the 1960s by playwright Tom Stoppard, is a transformation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Stoppard effectively relocates Shakespeare's play to the 1960s by reassessing and reevaluating the themes and characters of Hamlet and considering core values and attitudes of the 1960s- a time significantly different to that of Shakespeare. He relies on the audience's already established knowledge of Hamlet and transforms a revenge tragedy into an Absurd drama, which shifts the focus from royalty to common man. Within Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Stoppard uses a play within a play to blur the line that defines reality, and in doing so creates confusion both onstage- with his characters, and offstage- with the audience. Using these techniques, Stoppard is able make a statement about his society, creating a play that reflected the attitudes and circumstances of the 1960s, therefore making it more relevant and relatable to the audiences of that time.
The transformation of a Shakespearean Revenge Tragedy into an Absurd Drama means a considerable change in structure from a well-structured and rigid format, into a chaotic and formless play. Stoppard deliberately alters the co