Purposely Clueless

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"Show how actions bring out the idea" page 125, Writing About Literature

I think that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead can be associated with the idea of using people. For most of the play, Ros and Guil do not een know hwere they are, much less why they are there in the first place. It was ingenious of Claudius and Hamlet to choose these clueless but loveable oafs in there schemes: if someone has no idea what is going on, then they certainly cannot object to it, can they?

The first act is almost entirely devoted to the establishment of both Ros and Guil's characters: they are so clueless that they are constantly trying to figure out what is going on. In the process, they managed to miss the big picture. We need to know the nature of the two to understand how they are manipulated and fit in to Hamlet.

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3 Comments

I agree. This portrayal of the two characters being clueless does help with the understanding of how they are manipulated. If they are clueless, it would be difficult for them to realize that they are being used. They would have no way of fighting back.

Good point -- this is a very character-driven play. While it's hard to get into the heads of Ros and Guil, their "everyman" qualities make them immediately sympathetic figures.

Clueless characters does make the audience sympathic to them in the context of Hamlet, but I don't really think it helps in the context of Stoppard's play.
I don't know what I'm driving at here, I think I'm confusing myself.

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Diana Geleskie on Purposely Clueless: Clueless characters does make
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