Friday Favorites: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I love Hamlet. It's one of my favorite stories from the bard. This book is a campy version of that classic and it's wonderful in a completely different way. The plot is the same, but it's told from the point-of-view of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They are dim-witted, but well meaning. They stumble,
clueless, through the story always on the outskirts of the action. They are fools, but lovable ones.

This play was my first introduction to playwright Tom Stoppard. His quick wit and rapid-fire dialogue in this play are delightful. Part of my love for this book was probably born in the fact that I'd never read anything like it. I read it in high school and it was the first time I realized a play could be hilarious. I had read lots of Shakespeare and Miller and it took this book for me to understand that not every play is as tragic as the Crucible. I knew Shakespeare could be hilarious, but this humor was a bit more immediate.

I've frequently heard it compared to Waiting for Godot, which is on my TBR list, so I can't compare the two quite yet.

p.s. And bonus, what a fantastic cover!

1 comment:

Belle Wong said...

This is one of my favorite plays, too. And I also love Waiting for Godot. It's been a while since I've read a play - thanks for the reminder. I think I'm going to pull out some old favorites from my shelves this weekend!