Transformations between Hamlet and Rosencantz and Guildernstern.

Essay by nano_23High School, 12th grade October 2003

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"How has the composer of the contemporary text used the earlier text to say something new? Answer the question in relation to the two prescribed texts that you have studied."

The author Tom Stoppard of "Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead" has re-contextualised parts of the play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare to make a post-modern play. Tom Stoppard has appropriated characters and issues from the play Hamlet and introduced the same topics into his version of the epic tale creating Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are dead ,although staying within the boundaries set in Hamlet. Stoppard has changed the context to modern times and introduced the issues found in that subsequent period. Stoppard shows this to us through the characters Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildernstern , issues such as Death, Illusion verses reality etc. and through dramatic techniques, structure and language.

In the two plays the context in which it is written in plays a large part towards the way the characters act, feel and what they believe in.

William Shakespears play was written during the 1600's, therefore religion and mans role, and heirachy played a large part in the way the characters behaved. Tom Stoppard's play is very postmodern and the characters no longer rely heavily on religion but science, which ultimately affects the characters. Hamlet as we saw him in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare can be described as the protagonist, the centre of the universe ,who is reluctant to fulfill his appointed office as revenger which his 'fate cries out". "Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star". In this play Hamlet is the main character, he is prince and a royal, which is quite common in the plays found during this era. As an audience, we see Hamlet through the abundance of soliloquies found in the original...