Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
by Tom Stoppard
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Language and Communication 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.
ROS: Rhetoric! Game and match! (Pause.) Where's it going to end?
GUIL: That's the question.
ROS: It's all questions.
GUIL: Do you think it matters?
ROS: Doesn't it matter to you?
GUIL: Why should it matter?
ROS: What does it matter why? (1.418-424)
What are the rules of Ros and Guil's game? Is it all pointless or is there some skill to be gained from it?
ROS: It's all right – I'm demonstrating the misuse of free speech. To prove that it exists. (2.68-70)
What does it mean to say that we have free speech? Does the speech in the play become so free that it loses the ability to change anything – to affect the action?
ROS: Took the very word out of my mouth.
GUIL: You'd be lost for words. (2.92-93)
Doesn't the fact that Guil has intonated so clearly (so that Ros can get his meaning) also demonstrate the risk of getting lost because of words, because language is ambiguous and slippery and hard to pin down?