The work that I wish to discuss is Tom Stoppard’s play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” as a scholarly work in regards to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which is included in Sven Birket’s Literature: The Evolving Canon.
I believe that the most important issues in the play are the “psychological issues” involved. How do two relatively unimportant characters in Shakespeare’s play interpret what is going on around them? What is the audience’s response? What role do the Players hold in each of the two works?
As an authority on Shakespearean works, I would consider Stoppard’s play to be very enriching in both the interpretation of Hamlet as well as the consideration of what role Hamlet plays in modern society. Aside from that, the play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” addresses issues of isolation, sanity, depression, and luck that are not necessarily supposed to be related to Hamlet.
I think that looking deeply into Stoppard’s work will reveal many ideas about Shakespeare as well as valuable insights to the changing of the literary times. I think that Tom Stoppard intentionally related the characters of Hamlet and of Rosencrantz between the two plays. Hamlet being the serious one and Rosencrantz being the light-hearted easy going fellow. I.e.: The “Life in a Box” monologue, in which Rosencrantz blunders through very serious psychological issues. A deep investigation into the two works will bring out these issues, as well as many more.