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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


by Tom Stoppard

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Passivity 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

GUIL: All this strolling about is getting too arbitrary by half – I'm rapidly losing my grip. From now on reason will prevail. (2.200)

Is Guil's problem that he thinks reason can impose order? If he is wrong, does this mean that all the time he thinks he is being active and composing order could actually just be time wasted passively?

Quote #2

GUIL: But for God's sake what are we supposed to do?!
PLAYER: Relax. Respond. That's what people do. You can't go through life questioning your situation at every turn. (2.149-150)

Is sitting around questioning things more passive than just relaxing and responding and acting thoughtlessly? Is the Player more passive or is Guil? Is it possible to be reflective but also active?

Quote #3

GUIL: Let us keep things in proportion. Assume, if you like, that they're going to kill him. Well, he is a man, he is mortal, death comes to us all, etcetera, and consequently he would have died anyway, sooner or later. (2.205)

Is the fact that Guil is rationalizing away his betrayal a deviation from character or is the fact that he is betraying his friend (even if by rationalizing) a deviation from character?

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