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A 1966 play by Creator/TomStoppard. A PerspectiveFlip of ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}'', heavily inspired by ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot''. The 1990 film version (also directed by Stoppard) stars Creator/GaryOldman as Rosencrantz, Creator/TimRoth as Guildenstern, and Creator/RichardDreyfuss as the Player.

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A 1966 play by Creator/TomStoppard. A PerspectiveFlip of ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}'', heavily inspired by ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot''. The 1990 film version (also directed by Stoppard) stars Creator/GaryOldman as Rosencrantz, Creator/TimRoth as Guildenstern, Creator/IainGlen as Hamlet, and Creator/RichardDreyfuss as the Player.


* AmbiguousSyntax:

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* AmbiguousSyntax:AmbiguousSyntax: It's all over the place.



** In fact, it's all over the place.



-->'''Gertrude''': "Good ''(fractional suspense)'' gentlemen..."
* BerserkButton: ''Don't'' talk to Guildenstern about death. Especially if you're an actor.

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-->'''Gertrude''': "Good Good ''(fractional suspense)'' gentlemen..."
gentlemen...
%%
* BerserkButton: ''Don't'' talk to Guildenstern about death. Especially if you're an actor.



* CessationOfExistence: [[spoiler:The ending of the play.]] Guildenstern also frequently insists upon it when the Players discuss staging death.
** Though Guildenstern's final lines arguably puts it in a different context. He wants to know what he could have done to change the course of events, when he could have said "no". You are, of course, free to watch the play or movie all you like. He'll never say anything to change the events even if he lives the story a thousand times.
** And ''another'' common interpretation is that the pair never left the empty stage in the beginning, saying "no", and leaving with the actors instead of playing their role.

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* CessationOfExistence: [[spoiler:The ending of the play.]] Guildenstern also frequently insists upon it when the Players discuss staging death.
**
death. Though Guildenstern's final lines arguably puts put it in a different context. He wants to know what he could have done to change the course of events, when he could have said "no". You are, of course, free to watch the play or movie all you like. He'll never say anything to change the events even if he lives the story a thousand times.
**
times. And ''another'' common interpretation is that the pair never left the empty stage in the beginning, saying "no", and leaving with the actors instead of playing their role.



* TheDividual: Taken UpToEleven with Rosencrantz & Guildenstern. Even ''they themselves'' can't tell which one is which.[[note]]The script gives them names for convenience—the more self-aware, neurotic one is "Guildenstern", the more cheerful, dim-witted one is "Rosencrantz"—and these names are conventionally used when actors are listed in the playbill. But the text of the play itself is very careful not to give any clue which is which; "Rosencrantz" answers to both names without noticing it.[[/note]]
** This goes back to a joke in ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}''. When R and G appear at court, the King addresses them with "Thanks Rosencrantz, and gentle Guildenstern", and the Queen says "Thanks Guildenstern, and gentle Rosencrantz." Though the script doesn't say so, this is almost invariably performed as the Queen correcting the King, who mixed their names up.

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* TheDividual: Taken UpToEleven with Rosencrantz & Guildenstern. Even ''they themselves'' can't tell which one is which.[[note]]The script gives them names for convenience—the more self-aware, neurotic one is "Guildenstern", the more cheerful, dim-witted one is "Rosencrantz"—and these names are conventionally used when actors are listed in the playbill. But the text of the play itself is very careful not to give any clue which is which; "Rosencrantz" answers to both names without noticing it.[[/note]]
**
[[/note]] This goes back to a joke in ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}''. When R and G appear at court, the King addresses them with "Thanks Rosencrantz, and gentle Guildenstern", and the Queen says "Thanks Guildenstern, and gentle Rosencrantz." Though the script doesn't say so, this is almost invariably performed as the Queen correcting the King, who mixed their names up.



* FanFiction: In a manner of speaking.



* GeniusDitz: Rosencrantz.
** DitzyGenius: Guildenstern.
* GroundhogDayLoop: Explicitly invoked at the end. Even though Rosencrantz and Guildenstern [[spoiler: are dead]], they'll return as soon as the [[AuthorAvatar messenger]] calls. Unfortunately, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern both suffer from LaserGuidedAmnesia; only the Player has RippleEffectProofMemory.
** Only in the movie, if there. In the play, death is the end... [[spoiler: [[TearJerker "Well, we'll know better next time. Now you see me, now you –"]]]]

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%% * GeniusDitz: Rosencrantz.
** %% * DitzyGenius: Guildenstern.
* GroundhogDayLoop: Explicitly invoked at the end. Even though Rosencrantz and Guildenstern [[spoiler: are dead]], they'll return as soon as the [[AuthorAvatar messenger]] calls. Unfortunately, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern both suffer from LaserGuidedAmnesia; only the Player has RippleEffectProofMemory.
**
RippleEffectProofMemory. Only in the movie, if there. In the play, death is the end... [[spoiler: [[TearJerker "Well, we'll know better next time. Now you see me, now you –"]]]]movie.



* HeroOfAnotherStory: Theatre/{{Hamlet}}, natch.

to:

* HeroOfAnotherStory: Theatre/{{Hamlet}}, natch.Theatre/{{Hamlet}}.



* RedOniBlueOni: Rosencrantz is red to Guildenstern's blue.

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%% * RedOniBlueOni: Rosencrantz is red to Guildenstern's blue.

Added DiffLines:

* WilliamFakespeare: The eponymous characters have a lot of interaction with the Player (King) that Hamlet hires, and Stoppard's play clearly uses him as part of its overall parody of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' specifically, as well as Shakespeare generally, and in some productions, he looks like a very seedy William Shakespeare). Shakespeare's use of of male actors to play female characters as well as his plays' frequent HoYay is represented by the Player's use of Alfred, a young actor who he frequently sexually harasses. Not only does Alfred function as both MsFanservice and MrFanservice in the Player's plays, but the Player prostitutes him to earn extra funds. Additionally, Stoppard satirizes the violent nature of Shakespeare's tragedies with a quote from the Player about the type of plays his troop performs (despite the fact that Shakespeare wrote a lot of comedies and romances that all had happy endings):
-->'''The Player''': We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see.


The leads are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who were only [[ThoseTwoGuys minor characters]] in the [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespearean]] ''{{Hamlet}}''. Their dilemma: being minor characters, they were never granted much of a backstory, and as a result they have ''no memory'' of their lives. Including [[TheDividual which of them is supposed to be which]]. They're utterly, hopelessly stuck in a WorldLimitedToThePlot: all they know, instinctively, are the lines they're meant to say to Hamlet and the rest of the cast. They're appropriately freaked out by this.

to:

The leads are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who were only [[ThoseTwoGuys minor characters]] in the [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespearean]] ''{{Hamlet}}''.''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''. Their dilemma: being minor characters, they were never granted much of a backstory, and as a result they have ''no memory'' of their lives. Including [[TheDividual which of them is supposed to be which]]. They're utterly, hopelessly stuck in a WorldLimitedToThePlot: all they know, instinctively, are the lines they're meant to say to Hamlet and the rest of the cast. They're appropriately freaked out by this.



Real sections of ''{{Hamlet}}'' are inserted where appropriate.

to:

Real sections of ''{{Hamlet}}'' ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' are inserted where appropriate.



* ButThouMust: A dramatic version. Whenever ''{{Hamlet}}'' kicks in, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find themselves speaking the "right" lines, only to go back to being lost immediately afterwards.

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* ButThouMust: A dramatic version. Whenever ''{{Hamlet}}'' ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' kicks in, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find themselves speaking the "right" lines, only to go back to being lost immediately afterwards.



* {{Deconstruction}}: Not just of ''{{Hamlet}}'' but of theater conventions in general.

to:

* {{Deconstruction}}: Not just of ''{{Hamlet}}'' ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' but of theater conventions in general.



* FollowThePlottedLine: Stoppard has great fun constructing his plot this way: however far off topic they seem to get, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern always find themselves slotted back into ''{{Hamlet}}''.

to:

* FollowThePlottedLine: Stoppard has great fun constructing his plot this way: however far off topic they seem to get, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern always find themselves slotted back into ''{{Hamlet}}''.''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.



** At least one production was presented back to back with ''{{Hamlet}}'' - ''Hamlet'' ran for a few weeks first with ''Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead'' being the next play at the theatre. With the same cast. In the same roles. With the 'Shakespeare' scenes staged exactly the same way.

to:

** At least one production was presented back to back with ''{{Hamlet}}'' ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' - ''Hamlet'' ran for a few weeks first with ''Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead'' being the next play at the theatre. With the same cast. In the same roles. With the 'Shakespeare' scenes staged exactly the same way.



* OhAndXDies: This play, among other things, deconstructs the rather casual way in which they are announced dead in ''{{Hamlet}}'': by way of messenger, off stage, and rather unnecessarily.

to:

* OhAndXDies: This play, among other things, deconstructs the rather casual way in which they are announced dead in ''{{Hamlet}}'': ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'': by way of messenger, off stage, and rather unnecessarily.


* PopculturalOsmosis: Even people who haven't seen the play and know nothing of its contents are aware of it - and its leads.

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** For all their raging at their own helplessness, here is arguably ''one'' moment in the play when they could have broken out of the flow of events -- which they totally ignore. They actually read Claudius's letter to the English king and discover that it's all a ploy to have Hamlet killed... and they decide to do ''absolutely nothing'' about it, passively accepting their pinball status.
* PopculturalOsmosis: Even people who haven't seen the play and know nothing of its contents are aware of it - -- and its leads.



* RealityIsUnrealistic: The Player talks about how he once got permission to have a condemned actor hanged as part of a show...and it was terribly unconvincing. The reason being that [[RealityEnsues the condemned actor was gibbering and crying the whole time instead of performing his lines]].

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* RealityIsUnrealistic: The Player talks about how he once got permission to have a condemned actor hanged as part of a show... and it was terribly unconvincing. The reason being that [[RealityEnsues the condemned actor was gibbering and crying the whole time instead of performing his lines]].



* ShowWithinAShow: ''The Murder of Gonzago''. The movie adaptation makes it incredibly meta--as you know, Hamlet stages ''The Murder of Gonzago'', which has the same basic plot outline as ''Hamlet'', to startle his uncle into confessing. Well, the main character of ''Gonzago'' ''also'' stages a puppet show with the same basic plot outline as ''Gonzago'' to startle ''his'' uncle into confessing... It's basically ''Hamlet'' Within ''Hamlet'' Within ''Hamlet''. Within ''Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead''. Which is within ''Hamlet''.

to:

* ShowWithinAShow: ''The Murder of Gonzago''. The movie adaptation makes it incredibly meta--as meta -- as you know, Hamlet stages ''The Murder of Gonzago'', which has the same basic plot outline as ''Hamlet'', to startle his uncle into confessing. Well, the main character of ''Gonzago'' ''also'' stages a puppet show with the same basic plot outline as ''Gonzago'' to startle ''his'' uncle into confessing... It's basically ''Hamlet'' Within ''Hamlet'' Within ''Hamlet''. Within ''Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead''. Which is within ''Hamlet''.


'''The Player:''' No, no, no! He hasn't got a daughter! The old man thinks he's in love with his daughter.\\

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'''The Player:''' No, no, no! He hasn't got a daughter! The old man thinks he's in love with his ''his'' daughter.\\


* RealityIsUnrealistic: The Player talks about how he once got permission to have a condemned actor hanged as part of a show...and it was terribly unconvincing.

to:

* RealityIsUnrealistic: The Player talks about how he once got permission to have a condemned actor hanged as part of a show...and it was terribly unconvincing. The reason being that [[RealityEnsues the condemned actor was gibbering and crying the whole time instead of performing his lines]].


* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Guildenstern comforts a panicking Rosencrantz after their meeting with Claudius.

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* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Guildenstern comforts a panicking Rosencrantz after their meeting with Claudius. In general he tries to look after Rosencrantz and comfort him, even if he's quick to snap at him too.

Added DiffLines:

* OneBookAuthor: Creator/TomStoppard's SelfAdaptation of the play was the only film he directed.


* GeniusDitz: Rosencrantz.
** DitzyGenius: Guildenstern.



* GeniusDitz: Rosencrantz.
** DitzyGenius: Guildenstern.



* HeterosexualLifePartners: The titular duo.


Added DiffLines:

* HeterosexualLifePartners: The titular duo.


* TheatricsOfPain: Demonstrated when Guildenstern seizes the Player's dagger and tries to stab him to death. Guildenstern thinks the Player has been KilledOffForReal, when the Tragedians start applauding and congratulating the Player on a death scene well played. (The Player considers his own performance to be "merely competent.")



* TheatricsOfPain: Demonstrated when Guildenstern seizes the Player's dagger and tries to stab him to death. Guildenstern thinks the Player has been KilledOffForReal, when the Tragedians start applauding and congratulating the Player on a death scene well played. (The Player considers his own performance to be "merely competent.")
* {{Tragedy}}: Deconstructed

to:

* TheatricsOfPain: Demonstrated when Guildenstern seizes the Player's dagger and tries to stab him to death. Guildenstern thinks the Player has been KilledOffForReal, when the Tragedians start applauding and congratulating the Player on a death scene well played. (The Player considers his own performance to be "merely competent.")
* {{Tragedy}}: DeconstructedDeconstructed.
* TheWickedStage: The Player is duplicitous and willing to put on erotic adventures if the price is right, which will also include the hapless Alfred, the young crossdresser in the troupe.





There is much literate and [[{{Absurdism}} absurdist]] humor in this play, angling into philosophy. The play has become highly influential and helped cement the ThoseTwoGuys trope in modern literature. The perspective flip has also left a mark on culture: whereas the 1948 LaurenceOlivier film of ''Hamlet'' omitted Rosencrantz and Guildenstern because, well, they were minor characters, modern productions now treat the characters as integral to the plot and often briefly reference Stoppard.

to:

There is much literate and [[{{Absurdism}} absurdist]] humor in this play, angling into philosophy. The play has become highly influential and helped cement the ThoseTwoGuys trope in modern literature. The perspective flip has also left a mark on culture: whereas the 1948 LaurenceOlivier Creator/LaurenceOlivier film of ''Hamlet'' omitted Rosencrantz and Guildenstern because, well, they were minor characters, modern productions now treat the characters as integral to the plot and often briefly reference Stoppard.

Added DiffLines:

* SlidingScaleOfAdaptationModification: Type 5. Aside from the newer content, the inserts from ''Hamlet'' are taken verbatim from the original play.


A 1966 play by Creator/TomStoppard. A PerspectiveFlip of ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}'', heavily inspired by ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot''. The 1990 film version (also directed by Stoppard) is the best known adaptation. It stars Creator/GaryOldman as Rosencrantz, Creator/TimRoth as Guildenstern, and Creator/RichardDreyfuss as the Player.

to:

A 1966 play by Creator/TomStoppard. A PerspectiveFlip of ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}'', heavily inspired by ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot''. The 1990 film version (also directed by Stoppard) is the best known adaptation. It stars Creator/GaryOldman as Rosencrantz, Creator/TimRoth as Guildenstern, and Creator/RichardDreyfuss as the Player.

Added DiffLines:

** The Player, on the other hand, ''absolutely'' has MediumAwareness and has accepted it, which is probably why he's so cheerfully sardonic about everything. If all the world's a stage, that's fine, because he needs an audience.


Added DiffLines:


--> '''Guildenstern:''' ''There must have been a moment... at the beginning, when we could have said "no." Somehow we missed it. Well... we'll know better next time.''
--> '''Player:''' ''Till then.''

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