Sentimental Education

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Plot Overview

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern wander through a featureless wilderness, flipping coins, which keep coming up heads. Each time a coin lands on heads, Rosencrantz wins it. While Guildenstern worries about the improbability of a coin landing on heads so many times in a row, Rosencrantz happily continues flipping. Guildenstern wonders if they have entered a world …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act I: Beginning of Play to Entrance of Tragedians

Summary In a nondescript wilderness, Rosencrantz watches as Guildenstern flips coins. Each time a coin lands on heads, Rosencrantz gets to keep it. Guildenstern can hardly believe that Rosencrantz has amassed so many coins, but the coins keep coming up heads. He speculates that the two have entered an alternate universe, in which normal laws …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act I: Entrance of Tragedians to First Change of Lights

Summary Six actors and a three-man band, collectively known as the Tragedians, arrive. Their leader, known as the Player, explains that the group will perform for a small fee. Rosencrantz introduces himself as Guildenstern but quickly realizes his mistake. Calling Rosencrantz and Guildenstern “fellow artists,” the Player goes on to list the group’s dramatic specialties, …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act II: Entrance of Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia to Change of Lights

Summary Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia enter. Claudius confers privately with Rosencrantz first, then with Guildenstern. The stage direction points readers to a specific scene in Hamlet. Rosencrantz tells Gertrude that Hamlet greeted them warmly and says that Hamlet wants everyone to watch the play. As the group leaves, Hamlet enters, trying to decide whether …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act II: Change of Lights to End of Act

Summary In the darkness, shouts are heard, indicating that Claudius has responded angrily to the Tragedians’ production. The lines shouted are from Hamlet. The lights slowly come back on. It is dawn, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are lying on the floor in the same position and costumes as the dead spies were moments ago. The …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act I: Change of Lights to End of Act

Summary As the lights come up, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are now inside, watching as Ophelia rushes past, followed by Hamlet. Silently, Hamlet grabs Ophelia but quickly releases her and runs offstage. Ophelia runs off as well. Then Claudius and Gertrude enter. Speaking Shakespearean English, Claudius confuses Rosencrantz with Guildenstern, then explains that he wants their …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act III: Beginning of the Act until the Letter Switch

Summary Sounds of the ocean and activity onboard a boat can be heard. In darkness, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern wonder where they are, eventually realizing that they are on a ship at sea. Hamlet lights a lantern in the background of the stage, revealing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern sitting in the foreground. The light grows, and three …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act II: Beginning of Act to Entrance of Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia

Summary Hamlet claims to be mad only when the wind blows from a certain direction, a statement that thoroughly puzzles Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Polonius comes in to say that the Tragedians have arrived, and Hamlet and Polonius leave. Shyly, Guildenstern tells Rosencrantz that he thinks they made some headway into figuring out why Hamlet has …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Act III: Morning until the End of the Play

Summary Rosencrantz watches the morning dawn and says that things could have turned out worse than they have. The two men hear the sounds of the Tragedians’ music, which is nearby but muffled. Rosencrantz walks around the stage, trying to find the source of the music. He soon realizes that it is coming from the …

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Character List

id=”Rosencrantz”> Rosencrantz – A gentleman and childhood friend of Hamlet. Along with his companion, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz seeks to uncover the cause of Hamlet’s strange behavior but finds himself confused by his role in the action of the play. Rosencrantz has a carefree and artless personality that masks deep dread about his fate.Read an in-depth analysis of Rosencrantz. …

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