September 24, 2007

Our Daily Bread

GUIL (coda): Give us this day our daily round . . .

Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

At first, I wasn't impressed by this turn of phrase by Guildenstern, but by the fourth time it showed up, it demanded notice. "Give us this day our daily . . . " fits right into the Christian Lord's Prayer.

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen."

While I'm not sure of the importance of such an allusion to the prayer, I thought surely it should be mentioned. That passage of The Lord's Prayer is a specific request to have the basic necessities filled. Before Guildenstern makes this particular referral to the prayer, Rosencrantz says in anguish, "All I ask is a change of ground!" While this is a specific request, I don't know if it qualifies as a basic necessity.

I guess what I'm trying to say was that this passage (and other similar passages) confused me. What is the reason for their appearance?

Posted by Diana Geleskie at September 24, 2007 10:32 PM | TrackBack
Comments

To be honest, I'm not fully sure either. It could be because of the religious theme in Hamlet--the whole idea of purgatory vs. hell vs. heaven--since this play is, for the lack of a better term, playing off of what happened in Hamlet. It may just be the way the author chose to reference that particular aspect.

Posted by: Jennifer Prex at September 26, 2007 11:28 AM

I too was confused by parts of the play. All in all, I just thought of R and G as two loveable but extremely clueless oafs. The speeches Guil gave in the beginning concerning the coins and probability deeply confused me at times.

The type of humor is similar to the old routines of Laurel and Hardy, and I was suprised to find a comment on the back of the book calling it "a shakespearean laurel and hardy".

Posted by: Daniella Choynowski at September 26, 2007 9:10 PM

I too was confused by parts of the play. All in all, I just thought of R and G as two loveable but extremely clueless oafs. The speeches Guil gave in the beginning concerning the coins and probability deeply confused me at times.

Maybe what Stoppard's point was that R and G were never in control of their own lives. They were always somebody's pawns.

The type of humor is similar to the old routines of Laurel and Hardy, and I was suprised to find a comment on the back of the book calling it "a shakespearean laurel and hardy".

Posted by: Daniella Choynowski at September 26, 2007 9:11 PM

I am a fan of Tom Stoppard. When I was in high school I acted in "The Real Inspector Hound" as Cynthia. It was a great time. He has a way of writing plays that really engage the audience and keep them guessing until the very end.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at September 28, 2007 12:08 PM
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