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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

by Tom Stoppard

Manipulation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

ROS: Perhaps they've all trampled each other to death in the rush… Give them a shout. Something provocative. Intrigue them (2.76).

This is one of many points where Ros attempts to control who comes on and off the stage. How does the fact that he's on a physical stage make it different than if this were a film (which it also is) and he were just trying to get people to come in and out of court rooms (which he does in the film)?

Quote #8

GUIL: Nobody leaves this room! (Pause, lamely.) Without a very good reason. (2.198)

Is Guil's desire for everyone to have reasons for their actions an effort to manipulate them (into having reasons, whether or not they actually do)?

Quote #9

CLAUDIUS (moves): Bring him before us.
(This hits ROS between the eyes but only his eyes show it. Again his hesitation is fractional. And then with great deliberation he turns to GUIL.)
ROS: Ho! Bring in the lord.
(Again there is a fractional moment in which ROS is smug, GUIL is trapped and betrayed. GUIL opens his mouth and closes it.) (2.426)

Is this the first time that Ros realizes that Claudius has been using them just to get to Hamlet? Why does his betrayal of Guil make him smug – does it really alleviate him of responsibility? This is a peak point of tension between Ros and Guil, but what exactly is going on here?

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