Randomity: Play report for Drama

Trust me on this play report. We analyzed this with our director to no end.

Play Report
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead
by Tom Stoppard

I. Exposition
a. Time: The historical period was around the Elizabethan Period. We’re not sure what time of day it is through out the play.
b. Most of the play takes place in Denmark, part of it on a ship, and the last scene back in Denmark. Some of it takes place out on the road to Elsinore, and part of it inside
the palace.
c. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are flipping coins on a road in the middle of nowhere, and neither has any idea why.

II. Plot
a. The initial incident is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern trying to figure out what is going on. They have no idea. Finally they remember the king sent for them. They arrive in Elsinore.
b. The king tells them what they are to do. They try to glean what afflicts Hamlet (figure out what’s wrong with him), with no real information gained. They meet players who he arranges to play for Hamlet to get his mind of of what is troubling him. Soon after they learn Hamlet has killed Polonius and they must retrieve the body. They have trouble with this. Soon they are assigned to take Hamlet to the king of England but the boat is taken over by pirates and Hamlet is kidnapped. Before this, Hamlet had replaced
the letter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were bearing that was addressed to the king of England with one that ordered their execution.
c. The climax is when Guildenstern opens the letter and reads: “...should those bearers, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, put to sudden death---”
d. The players act out the final scene of Hamlet, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern talk about how there must have been one time where they could have avoided all this. They disappear and the last scene of Hamlet is on stage.
e. The last scene of Hamlet explains what happened to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, supposedly. It also concludes it, being the end of Hamlet and the end of this play.

III. Characters
a. The protagonists are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
b. The antagonists are Claudius and, to a lesser extent, Hamlet.
c. The major characters are the player and the ones listed above.
d. The minor characters are the tragedians, Gertrude, Polonius, and Claudius.
e. The soldier, the ambassador, and Horatio.

IV. Theme
a. The playwright’s message is everyone has a story and a choice---and whether or not this is true. The play means that we just don’t know anything about life, and it is our job to figure it out.
b. The nature of mankind is to wonder about fate and our own lives, and deaths, and reality itself.

V. Personal Reaction and Critique
a. I enjoyed reading the script; it was very funny and entertaining. The dialogue was very imaginative and really comical in timing and in word choice.
b. The characters were very believable, but a little too... dumb and forgetful, which made them more believable in a way because not everyone is bright. The plot was a little far-fetched, but very entertaining. It was far-fetched because ghosts don’t visit people, but Hamlet was crazy (sort of) which sort of nullifies that. The king and queen thing doesn’t help, and I’m not sure the pirates could happen today, but for a set piece, it would be very believable because... it seems like those things probably happened back then.