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Significance of the Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, by Tom Stoppard

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The Theatre of the Absurd often forces the audience to question the absurdity in everyday life. In the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, by Tom Stoppard, the Player is a voice of wisdom, irony, and warning. Stoppard uses the Player as the voice of certainty in an absurd reality. Through foreshadowing and his conceptual understanding of life, the Player is the only voice of certainty. The player is able to foreshadow the future, and also know the past. They know the certainty of life and the truth behind things that have happened. Others do not know the reality, and what has really happened, so they add in the details to add clarity. They know that ?having murdered his brother and wooed the widow- the prisoner mounts the throne! ...read more.


When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern speak of Hamlet's confusing behavior, the Player intervenes and foreshadows that Hamlet acts in the way that he does because he?s ?in love with [Polonius]?s daughter? (60). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are clueless as to how the world works, but the player being the only one that says things of certainty does. The Player?s insight demonstrates that he is the sole person with sureness in the play, as he understands what is happening around him due to the fact that he has knowledge of the future. Therefore, the Player proves that he is the only character in the play with assurance through his usage of accurately predicting what is to come. To the player, life is a play, in which the only certain aspect is scripted death. ...read more.


Likewise, to the Player, one must first understand reality, in order to understand their death. Guildenstern's purpose in life was never established, whereas the Player is known, from the very first introduction, as an actor.As Guildenstern's inability to understand why "To be told so little [about death] and still, finally, to be denied an explanation" (203). The deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are as absurd and ambiguous as their lives. Whereas, the Player, who fakes his own death remains true to his reality, that because he is an actor, he can never truly die. In essence, a person's death correlates to the purpose they have led in life. Therefore, Stoppard creates the Player as a sharp contrast to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?s absurd reality. He is successfully uses him as a tool to captivate the audience and portray a voice of reason. ...read more.

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