9 January 2013

My journal for ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD



  • After we finished discussing Waiting for Godot , our last play for this semesterwas Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. As compared to Beckett’s play, Stoppard gave us a long introduction like in Death of Salesman. We got knowledge about the two main actors, their environment and the time before we read the play. Moreover, we could generalize that one character was related more to intellect and the other  one was related to more bodily things of humans in Waiting for Godot. However, in Stoppard’s play, I could not do this separation. They looked like a bit similar to each other. Maybe Guildenstern (Guil) was a bit smarter than Rosencrantz (Ros) because Guil was questioning the situations instead of accepting it.


  •              While I was reading this Stoppard’s play, I started to think the previous play. There were some similarities, according to me. For example, the main characters in the two plays were waiting. Vladimir & Estragon were waiting for Godot and Guil & Ros were waiting for revealing what Claudius wanted them. Additionally, Guil & Ros were waiting to do what Claudius wanted. These characters spent their times with unnecessary things. To illustrate, Guil & Ros were flipping the coin. Moreover, these characters did not know anything. That is, Vladimir and Estragon knew just they should wait for Godot. They did not know why. Also, Guil & Ros knew just they were called from the palace. They did not know why, either. They did not know even who was who because on page 7, Ros introduced himself as Guil to Player.


  • In the class, we did a different activity. We prepared some questions and answered each other’s questions in a group. I liked one of the questions which were about connection between Hamlet’s conclusioned and this play’s conclusioned. Hamlet was questioning why these people were suffering and they preferred living. He added the reason was to suffer in this life is better than going somewhere unknown. While he was dying, he said rest is silence. Guildenstern said at the end of the play, on page 64, death was the absence of presence. They defined death slightly different.


  • We also learned existentialism is to choose something and even not to choose means a kind of choosing. In the play, on page 55, Ros and Guil understood that they would die. However, they chose not to do anything for saving their lives. According to existentialism, men’s fate should not be controlled by the others and they should be active in their lives. Rosencrantz said: “I wish I was dead.”.  They gave up. Moreover, they did not exist from the beginning of the play because they did not have control or choices about their lives. To go back to real death, Guildenstern defined the death as not existing on page 55 again.


  •             One of the play’s themes was fear. At the beginning, they flipped the coin but it always came up heads. Guildenstern feared about how it can be possible. Then he questioned this probability. Guildenstern said on page 4 : “ A scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defense against the pure emotion of fear.”. The fear was death. The science makes unknown things clear for us, so it helps us not to fear. As we know more about what is going on our environment, we feel more in secure.


  •             The predictable thing in the play and in our lives is one day all of us will die. On page 35, Guildenstern said even thought of death was terrible. According to him, the death cannot be showed in the play like a real act. That is, we, as mortals, cannot know how it is. However, Player thought one talented actor can act like a dead very well. On page 38, he said: “There's nothing more unconvincing than an, unconvincing death.”. Nowadays, we see a lot of deaths on TVs and we suppose the deaths in the movies were real. Then, we cry. Although we do not know how it was, the effect of being dead can be presented to us.  Moreover, on page 35, Rosencrantz talked about in any part of our lives, we must have lived this feeling that we will die and our lives will finish.