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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


by Tom Stoppard

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Fate and Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.

Quote #7

GUIL: Allowed, yes. We are not restricted. No boundaries have been defined, no inhibitions imposed. We have, for the while, secured, or blundered into, our release, for the while. Spontaneity and whim are the order of the day. Other wheels are turning but they are not our concern. We can breathe. We can relax. We can do what we like and say what we like to whomever we like, without restriction. (3.258)

How does the boat provide release? Why does Guil seem so relieved, and how do they have more freedom of action than they did in the court?

Quote #8

GUIL (quietly): Where we went wrong was getting on a boat. We can move, of course, change direction, rattle about, but our movement is contained within a larger one that carries us along as inexorably as the wind and current… (3.332)

How does the boat continue to be a symbol for the interplay between fate and free will? Carrying this metaphor further, what is the significance of their being on the open sea?

Quote #9

GUIL (broken): We've traveled too far, and our momentum has taken over; we move idly toward eternity, without possibility of reprieve or hope of explanation. (3.312)

Is Guil's grand language just a way to escape from the fear of his immediate situation?

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