‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ is Tom Stoppard’s absurdist, existentialist tragicomedy. Its premiere was at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1966. The play centers around two minor characters of the play Hamlet, school friends of Prince and spies of King Cladius Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The play do not focus on the events in Hamlet in the foreground.‘‘The play concerns the misadventures and musings of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’’ as it is said in a review of the play. There are dialogues about the insanity of Hamlet and a coin which comes head each time. The characters make time pass time by talking with each other,asking questions, interrupting each other from time to time and remaning silent. It is compared with Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting For Godot’ for those similarities. The play was performed by the Royal National Theatre at London's Old Vic Theatre on 11 April 1967. Apart from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; Hamlet, King Cladius, Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia, Horatio and Fortinbras are also characters in the play. It is the first Tom Stoppard play which is staged in Turkey.
A part from ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’:
rosencrantz: we could play at questions. guildenstern: what good would that do? ros: practice! guil: statement! one-love! ros: cheating! guil: how? ros: i hadn't started yet! guil: statement. two-love. ros: are you counting that? guil: what? ros: are you counting that? guil: foul! no repetitions. three-love. first game to-- ros: i'm not going to play if you're going to be like that. guil: whose serve? ros: hah? guil: foul! no grunts. love-one. ros: who's go? guil: why? ros: why not? guil: what for? ros: foul! no synonyms. one-all. guil: what in god's name is going on? ros: foul! no rhetoric! two-one. guil: what does it all add up to? ros: can't you guess? guil: were you addressing me? ros: is there anyone else? guil: who? ros: how would i know? guil: why do you ask? ros: are you serious? guil: was that rhetoric? ros: no. guil: statement! two-all. game point. ros: what's the matter with you today? guil: when? ros: what? guil: are you deaf? ros: am i dead? guil: yes or no? ros: is there a choice? guil: is there a god? ros: foul! no non-sequiters, three-two, one game all. guil (seriously): what's your name? ros: what's yours? guil: i asked you first. ros: statement. one-love. guil: what's your name when you're at home? ros: what's yours? guil: when i'm at home? ros: is it different at home? guil: what home? ros: haven't you got one? guil: why do you ask? ros: what are you driving at? guil (with emphasis): what's your name?! ros: repetition. two-love. match point to me. guil (siezing him violently): who do you think you are? ros: rhetoric! game and match!