October 4, 2007

Idea Searching: Much Like Soul Searching, But Not.

"Because writers of poem, play, and stories are usually not systematic philosophers, it is not appropriate to go 'message hunting' as though their works contained nothing but ideas."
Edgar V. Roberts, Writing About Literature

Before I continue I must type this simple two letter word that I am going to ask you read aloud: Ha!
Thank you Mr. Roberts! I HATE when I'm told to search out the hidden meanings when analyzing literature, I absolutely hate it.

Now, moving on.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. In the context of Tom Stoppard's play, they aren't physically dead the whole time, but, as Dani points out so fluently, mentally they are pretty much dead the whole time. Does my nose detect the stench of an idea?
I think so. The idea is that these two frivolous characters are dead in the context of their own lives, not just the context of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Simple and right in your face (it is, after all, the title.) So no, I'm not going to go searching through the play to find an idea, because that isn't what Roberts really wants (nor do I.) The ideas just jump out at you whether you want them to or not.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at October 4, 2007 12:40 PM | TrackBack

This is an interesting idea. I can see what you mean. As Dani pointed out, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are clueless. Plus, all you have to do is look at the opening of the play, as you pointed out in class. The act of flipping the coin over and over is brainless.

Posted by: Jennifer Prex at October 4, 2007 3:57 PM
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