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.
ROS: It's silly to be depressed by it. I mean one thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead…which should make all the difference…shouldn't it? I mean, you'd never know you were in the box, would you? It would be just like being asleep in a box. Not that I'd like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air – you'd wake up dead, for a start, and then where would you be? Apart from inside a box. (2.223)
Is Ros just being naïve and foolish here, or is he right that everyone else's fear of death is actually irrational? Does he have any less an understanding of death than Guil does?
GUIL: Death followed by eternity…the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible thought. (2.228)
What does it mean to experience eternity after your dead? Does Guil understand what Ros has been saying or has he just convoluted it to make his own point?
PLAYER: There's nothing more unconvincing than an unconvincing death. (2.286)
What makes an acted death convincing? How can the audience, sitting there and knowing so clearly that the actor is faking his death, still be drawn in by the way that he pretends to die? Shouldn't death be a harder thing to act than almost anything else?