Saturday, April 29, 2017

Did R+G have a choice?

Not only can we ask ourselves this question about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's role in the failed trap against Hamlet that leads to their death, but it is also a question that they ask themselves multiple times. For instance, after they realize that they are on the boat heading to their death, they debate if they ever had a choice not to follow the messenger's call. They conclude that there must have been a moment when they could have said no. Even when they are on the boat, they could have left and fled, but instead they carry out the modified letter, even though it announces their death. Rosencrantz still cannot make his own decision and simply lets fate guide them, regardless of if he will die or not. Therefore, they had a choice, but their choices would not have changed anything because they still must follow the script of Hamlet.

6 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

It's in the title, they are dead, so of course there's no choice. At least, they're no meaningful choices because ultimately in the end it's always the same. When they do try to make choices it never works out because they aren't meant to be their own person. In the end, it was written and they can do nothing to change their fates no matter what they attempt to do.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

This play raises a lot of questions. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern really didn't have a choice, they were dead from the beginning. But they didn't know that. They didn't ask to be born. The reader knows their fate, but they are still under the assumption that they can somehow save themselves.

Dylan Bryan said...

It is an interesting debate as to whether R & G could have changed their situation. Their fate is already written, but they do not do anything to try to change it. Even when they read Hamlet's version of the letter, they do nothing to stop their death. In a sense, their action is meaningless. It causes the reader to question if any action is meaningful, if death is unavoidable

Brooke Williamson said...

R & G must debate between free will and predestination. Most of their actions are not under their control because they are reluctant to take action for their own lives. They are content with having to not make decisions and have choices made for them.

Bailey Taylor said...

I don't think that they had a choice because their lives were written for them. Their fate was written in the title. No matter what they did, they couldn't change the outcome. And they really couldn't make their own choices since they are characters in a play.

Julia Scofield said...

A title is chosen after the body of work is written. Therefore, their fate was not decided before the novel even started. Their story follows the same timeline as hamlet, so, in both plays they had the choice. Because they were the same story from different perspectives. But, instead of taking advantage of their ability to make a choice, they are afraid and condemn themselves to death anyway.