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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

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.

Quote #1

ROS (cracking, high): --over my step over my head body! – I tell you it's all stopping to a death, it's a boding to a depth, stepping to a head, it's all heading to a dead stop – (1.306)

How can Ros's broken speech be explained in the context of the play? Is it a source of returning to their banter after the elevated Shakespearean speech of the Claudius scene?

Quote #2

ROS (flaring): I haven't forgotten – how I used to remember my own name – and yours, oh, yes! There were answers everywhere you looked. There was no question about it – people knew who I was and if they didn't they asked and I told them. (1.314)

What is the significance of their inability to keep track of their names? Is language here taking on more weight than it does normally? In the play, do they equate a weak sense of identity with an inability to remember your name?

Quote #3

ROS: What are you playing at?
GUIL: Words, words. They're all we have to go on. (1.348-349)

What is Guil's obsession with words? If you've read Waiting for Godot, is there any difference in the view of language presented in this play than the view presented in Beckett's?

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