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 repeating the .
same coin toss over and over. .
Trying, more idly now, to understand, he asks Rosencrantz .