1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 119: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard

Tom Stoppard’s famous treatment of two peripheral comical characters from what is perhaps Shakespeare’s finest tragedy (Hamlet) is an interesting experiment, but one that is difficult to pull off. Though the play has its merits and is entrenched heavily in post-modern theory, it has trouble getting off the ground. It reads at times as an imitation of Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, and at other times seems like a cross between Shakespeare and an Abbott and Costello routine, which might sound good on paper, but if fails to fulfill the potential. And even the post-modern theory that is tackled seems a little clichéd, having an art versus reality conversation can get repetitive and while it allows for critics to pull apart the dialogue, it has to entertain at the same time, and I’m not sure Stoppard manages to balance the two.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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