To be or not to be: The Question of Existence in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead In comparing Shakespeare’s tragedy of Hamlet with Tom Stoppard’s reworking of Hamlet in his play/film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, one is struck by the how radically Stoppard’s work adapts Shakespeare’s work to distinct purposes in a different era. This being said this paper will, through a comparative analysis of Shakespeare’s play and Stoppard’s play/film, argue the thesis that the crisis of action and existence that is a prominent feature of Hamlet’s soliloquies is reworked as the thematic core of Stoppard’s work. As will be seen, Stoppard’s “adaptation” avoids the impossible task of competing with Shakespeare’s work...The end:
.....ions. Deaths of kings and princes...and nobodies” (Stoppard). Most of us are not Hamlet, nor Claudius, nor even Ophelia. Although we are the protagonists of our own narratives, in the larger frame we are like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; minor players in a larger action whose outlines we can but dimly sense. References Milutinovic, Zoran. “The Death of Representation and the Representation of Death. Ionesco, Beckett and Stoppard.” Comparative Drama. 40.3(2006): 337-342. Schlueter, June. Dramatic Closure: Reading the End. London: Associated University Presses, 1995. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen. New York: Modern Library, 2008. Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Cinecom Pictures, 1990.