Saturday, March 2, 2013

Aimlessness of Guil and Ros's Theorizing

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern act at times like very smart men, especially in the first act, but their ideas are pointless and have no real meaning in their lives. Their curiosity about life has no direction. They either ask random questions, like why fingernails might grow after death, or worry uselessly over metaphysical ideas. Rosencrantz doesn’t seem interested in important questions. Guildenstern attempts to answer those questions by applying bizarre, inappropriate strategies. He uses a syllogism to try to determine whether they are still in reality as they know it. This kind of reasoning becomes all the more absurd when the two begin their discussion about where they are going and why. They barely remember that they were sent for by royalty, and they certainly have no idea what they will be asked to do once they get where they’re going. All of their complicated theorizing means very little when one realizes that they are completely in the dark about the simplest things. They follow orders without any knowledge of the purpose of their mission. It seems that, while they (or at least Guildenstern) would like to have some understanding of life’s mysteries, they are somehow able to largely ignore an idea so central and personal as their own fates. They skirt around major issues, focusing on the minor ones instead. An example of this is the appearance of the band: Guildenstern is so caught up in wondering about the nature of illusion that, at first, he ignores the fact that the band is not an illusion at all and is, in fact, standing right in front of him. Their surroundings or lack thereof underscore their confused mental states

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