A Postmodernist Reading of Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

Noorbakhsh Hooti, Samaneh Shooshtarian

Abstract


This study presents a postmodernist reading of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Although both modern and postmodern tendencies are traceable in Stoppard's dramatic achievements, the present study strives to analyze some vivid postmodernist features in his most controversial play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, as a model of postmodernism in theatre. The selected play will be analyzed in accordance with the specific concepts and theories which are more apparent in Stoppard's dramatic achievements including Lyotard's theory of the end of meta-narratives and also the theory of language game, Fredric Jameson's consumer society, Jacques Derrida's deconstruction and Jean Baudrillard's simulation. As an example of postmodernist play, Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead seems to embody ambiguity, discontinuity, disintegration, pluralism, uncertainty and deconstruction, which are the most outstanding features of postmodern works. Thus, the researchers make an attempt to consider his dramatic work as an example of postmodernist theatre and to apply these postmodern theories to his Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.Key words: Deconstruction; Difference; Intertextuality; Language game; Meta-narratives; Postmodernism; Simulation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.sll.1923156320110201.006

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