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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

by Tom Stoppard

Foolishness and Folly Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

PLAYER: Yes, we were dead lucky there. If that's the word I'm after.
ROS (not a pick up): Dead?
PLAYER: Lucky.
ROS (he means): Is he dead? (3.284-287)

Is there more meaning that comes out of this little misunderstanding? Why would Ros pick up on the word "dead" while the player is focused on the word "lucky"?

Quote #8

ROS (mournfully): Not even England. I don't believe in it anyway.
GUIL: What?
ROS: England.
GUIL: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, you mean. (3.163-166)

Does Guil attempt to make Ros look more foolish than he actually is? Don't many of Ros's statements, interpreted correctly, actually make more sense than Guil seems to admit?

Quote #9

ROS: I wish I was dead. (Considers the drop.) I could jump over the side. That would put a spoke in their wheel.
GUIL: Unless they're counting on it.
ROS: I shall remain on board. That'll put a spoke in their wheel. (3.177)

Ros here is attempting not to question things and just to perform and act, but he doesn't seem to be having much success. Examine the way his mind works here and elsewhere: it's just like a wagon wheel, rolling from idea to idea.

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