Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
by Tom Stoppard
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Versions of Reality 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.
GUIL: Autumnal – nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day…Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it…Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses. (2.455)
What are Guil's standards for determining a season or a setting? Are they different from normal people's standards? How do all the little details add up to one coherent reality?
PLAYER: Naturally – we didn't get paid, owing to circumstances ever so slightly beyond our control, and all the money we had we lost betting on certainties. Life is a gamble, at terrible odds – if it was a bet you wouldn't take it. Did you know that any number doubled is even? (3.242)
What type of reality is this if you can lose all of your money betting on certainties? What does the player mean that if life were a bet you wouldn't take it? What would be the terms of the bet? What would it mean to win the bet?
The light has gone upstage. Only GUIL and ROS are visible as ROS's clapping falters to silence. (3.343)
How is this another shifting of reality within the play? How do the different spheres of action relate and overlap? Is Ros's clapping, as it fades away, much like the audiences' as they hope that the play will end on a high note? Is the clapping an attempt to forestall their impending fate?