Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
How we cite our quotes:
ROS: We're not finished, then?
GUIL: Well, we're here, aren't we?
ROS: Are we? I can't see a thing.
GUIL: You can still think, can't you?
ROS: I think so.
GUIL: You can still talk.
ROS: What should I say?
GUIL: Don't bother. You can feel, can't you?
ROS: Ah! There's life in me yet. (3.7-14)
Can you imagine anything more isolating than having a mind and not a body, of just being a voice in the dark?
GUIL: There may be something in the letter to keep us going a bit.
ROS: And if not?
GUIL: Then that's it – we're finished.
ROS: At a loose end?
GUIL: Yes. (3.126-130)
To what extent does having or not having a sense of purpose contribute to feelings of isolation? If Ros and Guil had a better idea of what they were doing, would they feel less alienated?
GUIL (excitedly): Out of the void, finally a sound; while on a boat (admittedly) outside the action (admittedly) the perfect and absolute silence of the wet lazy slap of water against water and the rolling creak of timber – breaks. (3.216)
Guil, who is usually so worried about isolation, is not in this case. What makes the difference? Does his poetic language become like a cloak of comfort that he puts on in his extreme isolation?