Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
by Tom Stoppard
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Mortality 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.
PLAYER: Deaths for all ages and occasions! Deaths by suspension, convulsion, consumption, incision, execution, asphyxiation and malnutrition – ! Climactic carnage, by poison and by steel – ! Double deaths by duel – ! Show! – So there's an end to that – it's commonplace: light goes with life, and in the winter of your years the dark comes early… (3.342)
Does the Player's listing of all the different types of death give one a better idea of what death is than Guil's philosophical speculation, or does that only obscure it?
GUIL: No…no…not for us, not like that. Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over…Death is not anything…Death is not…It's the absence of presence, nothing more…the endless time of never coming back…a gap you can't see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes no sound. (3.343)
Notice the way that all of the pauses illustrate the difficulty that Guil is having expressing this inexpressible idea.