Would you like to write a play "Gertrude"?

It's a great story to explore.

Or "Ophelia"?

or... Shakespeare.

new on RG.08 -- blog : Style ... tableaux vivans = living pictures [ named and numbered ] Very Brechtian -- flat, thoughts mostly.

Hamlet v. R/G

Comparison of acting and theatrical conventions :

Information about Shakespeare’s theatre abounds, and attending a performance of any contemporary play should allow for some worthwhile comparisons. Draw a table of the differences and similarities, using the following ideas to guide your analysis:

division into acts and scenes

how the ending of a scene is signified

the descriptions by the playwright of the settings of time and of place the stage directions given to the actors by the playwright, either directly, or implied through the content of the speeches

managing effective exits and entrances

the degree of realism needed for the staging of each play, such as the props and costumes required

the size of the stage required to perform some of the simultaneous actions

the provision of lighting and sound devices for each play, in the context in which it was written

the assumed understandings of the audience by each playwright

the type of audience the play was written for

the structure of the plot of each play - aspects such as exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and denouement or resolution

the features expected by an audience, such as soliloquies, duels, comic relief, processions, play within the play.

... Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Banknote Corp.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern By W. S. Gilbert [2004] ? In Boas, Guy. Short modern plays. London, 1935... ! Gilbert's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern first appeared in the periodical Fun in 1874, but was apparently not performed in public until 1891. [ !!! ]

Gilbert and Sullivan Archive :
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
A Tragic Episode, in Three Tabloids, founded on an Old Danish Legend
by W. S. Gilbert

[ read in dramlit class ? ]

... Hamlet 2.0 World = Death Rules


web-show -- pomo.vtheatre.net + stagematrix.com

* anatoly.org --

... 2009 :

From 2009
cine101.com + stagematrix.com = vTheatre ?

... and present -- Online petition - Boycott China’s Olympics

Where is TODAY in this show?

No Election (Choice 08) Fever, no local politics... "Dead Theatre".


From PoMo
Russian Stoppard : Utopia Project Stoppard vs. Shakespeare

R/G ? = Hamlet + 12th Night

... in POMO tradition -- self-quotation [ ... ] video-pages -- filmplus.org/thr/2007 [ how ]

... filmplus.org/plays/2008 : scene one, one --

analysis ?

King Player and Theatre

... new calendar page -- ?


Theatre UAF
... notes and ideas on Hamlet Dreams for Ros & Guil

R/G are Dead'08 Shakespeare & Stoppard side-by-side [ * ]

From rg08

pomo.vtheatre.net : Stoppard Files



script.vtheatre.net Files



... more.



"Conceptialization" (Stagematrix)

utopia + pomo albums :

From Utopia

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead: a short summary

This play was written in 1967 by Tom Stoppard and uses most of the characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. However in this play, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and the Players are the most important characters and the main characters fromHamlet are literally in the background most of the time.

The actual plot is different, however in it’s treatment of the issues. The meaning of life and the inevitability of death draw attention to the fact that these themes are also present in the original play by Shakespeare. All the themes discussed in Hamlet revenge, Hamlet’s “madness” and the madness of other characters and Hamlet’s procrastination can be linked to the themes of life and death.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead opens with the two main characters tossing coins and betting each time on the result, which happens to be “heads” 92 times in a row. The closeness between them indicated in Hamlet is immediately evident here by the uninterrupted repartee between them, even though they are frequently challenging and questioning each other while the coin tossing is taking place. They lead into a discussion of probability and the direction their lives are to take, alluding to Hamlet with mention of the fact that they have been sent for.

As they try to decide in which direction they have to travel, they hear music and the Players or tragedians that they meet in Hamlet appear. In identifying Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as an audience, the main Player has given them now some purpose, just as in Hamlet he provides Hamlet with the means to catch Claudius out. The difference is however that in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead the Player has an active role, whereas in Hamlet he responds to requests by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and then by Hamlet.

In the process of discussing how the Players are going to entertain Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the Player makes the important point that they “do on stage the things that are supposed to happen off stage. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look upon every exit being an entrance somewhere else.”

This is an important lead into the fact that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who were mostly off-stage in Hamlet, will be on-stage in this play, whereas Hamlet will be mostly off-stage in this play after having been the central character in Hamlet.

The stage subsequently becomes the symbol of life (a reference to lines from other plays by Shakespeare, eg. “all the world’s a stage”) and through the character of the Player who has also assisted Hamlet in finding meaning, Stoppard is able to use his play to treat the theme that the direction in which life takes us is towards death.

Shortly after this discussion, Hamlet and Ophelia appear and mime the scene fromHamlet in which Hamlet questions the loyalty of women and effectively dismisses Ophelia from his life.

Immediately after this the actual scene where Gertrude and Claudius greet and welcome Rosencrantz and Guildenstern occurs, using the language of Shakespeare and also the difficulty of distinguishing between the personalities of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Thus, although as a pair they are given a purpose in life to “glean...what afflicts” Hamlet. They then continue to discuss their purpose in life through the game of asking each other questions and trying to avoid statements. This is followed by a game in which Guildenstern plays the part of Hamlet and Rosencrantz asks him pertinent questions relating to events in the original play, which again assist us in reflecting upon the original play.

At the end of Act One, Hamlet enters, engaged in a conversation with Polonius fromHamlet, and then greets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

At the opening of Act Two, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern reflect on their conversation with Hamlet, exposing his state of mind at this point in Hamlet. They note that Hamlet has asked several rhetorical questions, and repeated himself. Soon afterwards some more interaction occurs between the Player and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who are treated to some more of the former’s philosophies on life.

Then, left to themselves, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern introduce the subject of death. Rosencrantz starts this with the question, “Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid on it?” and then follows with his conclusion that “there’s only one direction, and time is its only measure”.

Some more interactions with characters from Hamlet follow, and the stage directions indicate that most of the time the latter characters are positioned upstage, allowing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to remain the focus of the audience.

A collage of the dumbshow from Hamlet, and the scene between Hamlet and Ophelia in which he rejects her follows, ending with the determination by Claudius that Hamlet should be sent to England. After the exit of the characters fromHamlet, the Player picks up the death theme, pointing out that his troupe are tragedians, who follow directions and no one escapes death: “…there is no choice involved. The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily”.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to counter this argument saying they want “a good story, with a beginning, a middle and an end”, and “I’d prefer art to mirror life,if it’s all the same to you”. The Player responds by miming, with some narration, scenes from Hamlet where Hamlet interviews his mother and kills Polonius, Claudius organises Hamlet’s trip to England with two ”smiling accomplices- friends-courtiers-two spies” (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) showing how a “twist of fate and cunning has put into their hands a letter that seals their deaths”.

This Act ends with references to the season of autumn (symbolising the move closer to the end of life - winter) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern preparing to escort Hamlet to England, which ironically is the scene before their deaths in Hamlet.

Act Three opens with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on board the ship taking Hamlet to England, bearing a letter from the Danish King to the English King, and feeling depressed that once this task is achieved they will be at a loose end again, with no sense of what direction they are heading into. They read the letter and realise that they carry the death warrant for Hamlet. They comment that the sun is going down and it will be dark soon. They also note that they are heading west, as they come to terms with the significance of the letter they are carrying.

In the background we see Hamlet exchange the letter for another, which we know from Hamlet, gives instructions that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are to be killed, not Hamlet himself.

It then becomes apparent from music they can hear, that the tragedians are also on board, in three large barrels. The Player launches into more philosophy, regarding, “Life is a gamble, at terrible odds - if it was a bet you wouldn’t take it.” Watching Hamlet spit into the audience, Rosencrantz reflects that “philosophical introspection is his (Hamlet’s) chief characteristic”.

Pirates attack the ship and all the characters hide in barrels. When the attack is over and they re-emerge, Hamlet has disappeared, giving Rosencrantz and Guildenstern the cue that without him they have no function in life.

They then re-discover the letter and its changed instruction that they are to be killed. Death and the purposelessness of their lives is now the focus of their discussion with the Player, who tries to give it some perspective by saying that he has acted death many times and ways and it is commonplace.

Still protesting, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern disappear, and the play ends with part of the last scene from Hamlet, where all the main characters lie dead and the Ambassador from England reports that as Hamlet requested Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

[ source ]

Tom Stoppard 15 Minute Hamlet (1976) 


Enter Shakespeare, bows.

SHAKESPEARE:  For this relief, much thanks.

Though I am native here, and to the manner born,

It is a custom more honoured in the breach

Than in the observance


Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

To be, or not to be, that is the question.

There are more things in heaven and earth

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy -

There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,

Rough hew them how we will

Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.

I must be cruel only to be kind;

Hold, as t’were, the mirror up to nature.

A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.

(LADY in audience shouts “Marmalade”.)

The lady doth protest too much.

Cat will mew, and Dogg will have his day!

(Bows and exits. End of prologue.) 
I.1.8  (Francisco) 
I.iv.14-15 (Hamlet)

I.iv.15 (Hamlet)

I.iv.16 (Hamlet)

I.iv.90 (Horatio)

III.i.56 (Hamlet)

I.v.174 (Hamlet)

I.v.175 (Hamlet)








V.i. 287       


Encore signs appear above each screen. Flourish of trumpet, crown hinges up. Enter CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE 

CLAUDIUS: Our sometime sister, now our Queen,

(Enter HAMLET.)

Have we taken to wife.

(Crown hinges down.)

HAMLET: That it should come to this!

(Exit CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE. Wind noise. Moon hinges up. Enter HORATIO above.)

HORATIO: My lord, I saw him yesternight–

The King, your father.

HAMLET: Angels and ministers of grace defend us!

(Exit, running, through the rest of speech.)

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

(Enter GHOST above)

GHOST: I am thy father’s spirit.

The serpent that did sting thy father’s life

(Enter HAMLET above.)

Now wears his crown.

HAMLET: O my prophetic soul!

Hereafter I shall think meet

To put an antic disposition on.

(Moon hinges down. Exeunt.

Short flourish of trumpets. Enter PoLONiuS below, running. Crown hinges up.)

POLONIUS: Look where sadly the poor wretch comes.

(Exit PoLoNius, running. Enter HAMLET.)

HAMLET: I have heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play

Have by the very cunning of the scene been struck.

(Enter CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, OPHELIA, MARCELLUS and HORATIO joking. ALL sit to watch imaginary play, puppets appear above screen.)

If he but blench, I know my course.

(Masque music. CLAUDIUS rises.)

The King rises !

ALL: Give o’er the play !

(Exeunt ALL except GERTRUDE and HAMLET. Crown hinges down.)

HAMLET: I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pounds.

(Enter POLONIUS, goes behind arras. Short flourish of   trumpets.)

Mother, you have my father much offended.


POLONIUS: Help, Ho! 

HAMLET: (Stabs POLONIUS.) Dead for a ducat, dead!

(POLONIUS falls dead off-stage. Exit GERTRUDE and HAMLET. 
Short flourish of trumpets. Enter CLAUDIUS  followed by HAMLET.)

CLAUDIUS: Hamlet, this deed must send thee hence

(Exit HAMLET.)

Do it, England.

(Exit CLAUDIUS. Enter OPHELIA, falls to ground. 
Rises and pulls gravestone to cover herself. Bell tolls twice.


HAMLET: A pirate gave us chase. I alone became their prisoner

(Takes skull from GRAVEDIGGER.)

Alas poor Yorick - but soft (Returns skull to            GRAVEDIGGER.) -This is I,

Hamlet the Dane !


LAERTES: The devil take thy soul!

(They grapple, then break. Enter OSRIC between them with swords. 
They draw. Crown hinges up. 
Enter CLAUDIUS and GERTRUDE with goblets.)

HAMLET: Come on, Sir!

(LAERTES and HAMLET fight.)

OSRIC: A hit, a very palpable hit !

CLAUDIUS: Give him the cup. Gertrude, do not drink!

GERTRUDE: I am poisoned! (Dies)

LAERTES: Hamlet, thou art slain! (Dies)

HAMLET: Then venom to thy work! 


Crown hinges down.)

The rest is silence. (Dies)

(Two shots off-stage. End)


I.ii.10 e 14 

I.ii. 137 











II.ii.168 (Queen) 




III.ii.260 (Ophelia)

III.ii.262 (Polonius) 






IV.iv.40 e 42 


IV.vi.14-15 e 18

(Lettera di Hamlet a Horatio)

V.i.178, 210, 






V.ii.285 e 295






Charles Marowitz  Hamlet (1978) 

(coming off rope)

I did love you once.

OPHELIA. (At left of HAMLET)

Indeed my Lord. you made me believe so.

HAMLET. You should not have believed me. For virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it.

OPHELIA. I have remembrances of yours,

That I have longed long to redeliver.

I pray you now, receive them.

HAMLET. No, I never gave you aught.

OPHELIA. My honour’d Lord, you did,

And with them words of so sweet breath compos’d

As made the things more rich.

HAMLET. (To OPHELIA) Are you honest?

QUEEN. O Hamlet, speak no more;

Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul,

And there I see such black and grained spots

As will not leave their tinct.

HAMLET. (To OPHELIA) Are you fair?

QUEEN. These words like daggers enter in mine ears.

HAMLET. Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?

CLOWN. Cannot you tell that? Every fool can tell that.

OPHELIA. Thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

POLONIUS. My Lord, the Queen would speak with you, and presently.

HAMLET. Do you see that cloud that’s almost in shape like a camel?

POLONIUS. (Studying it) 

By the mass, and it’s like a camel indeed.

HAMLET. Methinks it is like a weasel.

OPHELIA. I was the more deceived.

HAMLET.  If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry. 
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow ...


Go not to my uncle’s bed,

Assume a virtue if you have it not!


Thou shalt not escape calumny.

Get thee to a nunnery. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool: 
for wise men know what monsters you make of   them.

POLONIUS. (Still studying the cloud)

It is back’d like a weasel.

HAMLET. Or like a whale?

POLONIUS. Very like a whale.

HAMLET. (Facetiously. of POLONIUS)

O what a noble mind is here o’erthrown.



III.i. 118



III.i. 95












V.i.142 (Gravedigger) III.iv.158 (Queen)









III.iv. 162 






III.iii. 373 

III.i.152 (Ophelia)
(The corpses, still stretched out, begin derisive laughter.) 
My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.

(Corpses, laughing hysterically, 
mock HAMLET with jeers, whistles, stamping and catcalls, till final fade out)

Hamlet (Tatsuya Fujiwara) meets his "Ghost Dad"