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Tom Stoppards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is based on Shakespeares tragedy,Hamlet, and incorporates aspects of black comedy

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Essay presentation In Shakespearean theatre, tragedies end in the fall of a tragic hero, inducing pity and fear in the audience. Tom Stoppard?s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is based on Shakespeare?s tragedy,Hamlet, and incorporates aspects of black comedy. In the play, black humour is used to lighten dark matters and ultimately add to the light-heartedness of the play. The dialogue of the characters incorporates black humour to take the focus off of the misfortune of others. First, the serious and tragic matters which affect the characters are introduced in a comedic way. The Player determines the cause for Hamlet?s madness and says, ?The old man thinks he?s in love with his daughter? to which a confused Rosencrantz replies, ?Good God! ...read more.


And what did we get in return? He?s depressed!?(48). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tally up their success of determining Hamlet?s misfortune through a game. They show little sympathy towards Hamlet?s condition, and instead relieve the tension in a humorous way. Even though the play of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern possesses tragic aspects, the humour incorporated into the play makes it more light-hearted. Black comedy is used to offer a light-hearted approach to the concept of death and dying. The Player treats death light-heartedly, and as an essential part to any successful play. Guildensternwonders if a play has ended, as the Player objects, ?Do you call that an ending? ? with practically everyone on his feet? My goodness no ? over your dead body?. ...read more.


Aboard the boat, Guildenstern attempts to kill the player, and believes he has succeeded, as ?the tragedians start to applaud with genuine admiration?. The Player promptly stands up and says, ?oh, come, come, gentlemen - no flattery - it was merely competent? (115). The player turns his death into a comedic scene as he pretends to die, avoiding the serious matter. He is applauded for the action as the other tragedians find his acting humorous which creates a lighter mood. Death is a serious recurring theme in the play that is addressed, and then quickly brushed aside through the use of black comedy. Tom Stoppard uses black humour is to add light-heartedness to a play filled with tragic concepts. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Deadaddressestragic themes, yet still manages to add aspects of humour. Black humour allows the audience to laugh along to the play, even as dark and tragic themes are being explored. ...read more.

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