• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Tom Stoppard has transformed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, (here on in, written as RAGAD) from Hamlet written by Shakespeare.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tom Stoppard has transformed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, (here on in, written as RAGAD) from Hamlet written by Shakespeare. Both Stoppard and Shakespeare have created and presented values and themes related to their times and have been influenced by the social, cultural and historical contexts. The change of perspectives on the themes of death, fate and destiny, appearances versus reality and the use of tragedy and comedy is every present within the transformation of the two plays. Stoppard has transformed his entire play from Hamlet, by altering the focus from the Prince of Denmark to the destiny of two ordinary people. A major transformation within Stoppard's RAGAD is the concept of death. In Hamlet, death was portrayed in a very dramatic theatrical style, involving violence, blood, poisoning and duels. Hamlet also contemplates suicides and human mortality in a very deep and complex manner. Yet Stoppard has transformed death, to be almost amusing and casual in a number of ways as he imagines himself alive in a box, which is a contradiction in itself, creating humour. Ros then concludes, "Life in a box is better than caught alive in a box, becomes a metaphor for Ros and Guildenstern's (here on in, written as Guil) life, as they are trapped on the stage and have no control. ...read more.

Middle

Ros and Guil were only commoners of the time and in its every definition were ordinary, so ordinary that they are interchangeable. In the context of which RAGAD was written, 20th century existentialism was present. The analysis of the individual and of the ordinary was a major issue of society, therefore the frustration and fear of Ros and Guil was easily felt by the audience as their fate and destiny was also theirs. Appearances versus reality is a major transformation between the two plays. In Hamlet, many relationships are just appearances. In RAGAD, the nature of reality is more problematic and complex. An example of this is the opening of the play, when Ros and Guil are tossing the coins having improbable results which reminds the audience that nothing can be relied upon, there are no patterns or reasons inherent in life. The falsity of reality in Hamlet was written for intrigue and interest for the audience. Yet in Stoppard's play, he attempts to depict reality as best as possible, he wishes the characters to imitate real life. Stoppard tries to display the division between appearances and reality when the player describes a play in which he had directed, where a person found guilty of stealing was actually hung on stage. ...read more.

Conclusion

Language between the two plays is also a major transformation. In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote in verse and prose. One third of it was written in prose and the use of blank verse was used for more elevated speech. An example of this is in Hamlet, Guil speaks to the King and Queen in verse: "And here give up ourselves in full bent-To lay out service freely at your feet-To be commanded." Yet the language in RAGAD, Guil speaks to the player; "What is this dumbshow for?" Guil is more casual and blatant. This change in language is due to the change in audiences. Stoppard wished to use language that was appropriate for the time and easier for the audience of the 1960's to understand. Transformations of the themes of death, fate and destiny, appearances versus reality and the use of tragedy and comedy are largely due to the change of context. It is through the development of society and their change of perceptions that have altered the way in which Stoppard has interpreted and written his play. It is the transformations themselves that speak of the change of time, of people and of morals. Stoppard has transformed Shakespeare's melodramatic play into a play of truth, which imitates and displays the falsities of reality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Hamlet is considered to be the greatest play ever written.

    In Hamlet, Shakespeare has a theme of madness. Shakespeare's tragic hero, Hamlet and his sanity are still discussed. Many parts of the play support the loss of control in his actions, while other parts suggest the belief of an 'antic disposition.'

  2. Hamlet is known to be the most popular play written by Shakespeare.

    Hamlet had used the play to "catch the conscience of the King." Hamlet aims to get both the King and Queen's conscience through the play. He gets her by questioning "Madam, how do you like this play?" showing how he wants to make her feel guilty.

  1. Whos there? Theatrical review.

    Has the ghost been murdered, and from whom? We know Hamlet will listen because he loves his father. We see the first specific mention of murder when the Ghost says "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder". At this point our suspicions are confirmed, but Hamlets reaction shows he is shocked and screams out "Murder!"

  2. Hamlet - negative criticism, quotes from famous writers.

    not melancholy, not complex - ridden, not pessimistic, not even disillusioned basically - but a healthy, vigorous man, much in love with life, who, given the slightest opportunity, is happy, cheerful, companionable, and kind." Hamlet as an example of Aristotle's model tragic hero: Goethe's Interpretation Of Hamlet As Nobly Weakwilled (1796)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work