Player: Relax. Respond. That's what people do. You can't go through life questioning your situation at every turn."
Guil: But we don't know what's going on, or what to do with ourselves. We don't know how to act.
Player: Act natural. You know why you're here at least.
Guil: We only know what we're told, and that's little enough. And for all we know, it isn't even true.
The bottom of page 66 in Act II of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead really struck me. The entire play is composed of playful banter and clever puns which often relate to the philosophy of existentialism. But this particular exchange seems to be the epitome of the existentialist view of life. Rosencrantz and Guidlenstern are indeed, actors in a play- who know nothing beyond their actions and duties regarding Hamlet. However, Stoppard uses their situation as a metaphor for human existence. We are born into a world for no apparent purpose. The only instruction we receive on how to "proceed" about our lives is provided to us by the people and environment around us. Which is both subjective and variable. Although some may seek a way to define the purpose of their life or a direction for existence, we essentially, have no purpose or guidance; we are sentenced to an existence that is absurd. Here lies the humor in the play. We laugh at Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's disorientation and confusion because we identify with the absurdity of their situation. We are living it.