Tom Stoppard’s film “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead,” is an unusual alteration of Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” where the action in the play “Hamlet” is narrated through Hamlet’s friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In the play “Hamlet” they are minor characters, but in this film they have roles as major characters. There are some differences and similarities between these literature works. Some of these include; relevant and contrasting plots, themes, and characters, which are discussed in both of these literature works.
These ideas and concepts can be used to compare the two literature works. The film has many flaws that make it inferior to the play Hamlet. Compared to the play “Hamlet”, the movie “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” is disappointing due to its complicated introduction, uninteresting plot and boring dialogue. The confusing introduction of the movie impacts the movie negatively and plays a major role in making the movie unappealing. In the beginning of the movie, the main characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are travelling through an unknown path.
There is no description of what is happening or where they are heading, which leads to an early confusion for the audience. Also, they are flipping coins for a long period of time, but coincidentally, the coin lands on heads consecutively multiple times, which causes the characters to be astonished. This weary introduction causes lots of confusion for the audience and may lead to a unappealing impression of the movie. A good introduction must hook in the audience’s attention, which this movie fails to do.
In the play “Hamlet,” Shakespeare uses an amazing introduction to grab the reader’s attention. He starts the play off with conflicts such as the death of Hamlet’s father, and the mysterious allure of a ghost. This would have greatly shocked the people during Shakespeare’s time. This keeps the audience on their toes and ensures them to want to know more. Plus, he provides a clear description of what is happening and describes the atmosphere through the beauty of his words.
An example would be when he writes “Tis bitter cold, not a mouse stirring. ” This creates a powerful image in the audience’s mind that the atmosphere is freezing cold and that it’s dead silent. Therefore, Stoppard’s perplexing introduction is incomparable to Shakespeare’s magnificent introduction, which emphasizes the ineffectiveness of the film “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. ” Not only is the film’s introduction confusing, the plot is confusing and boring as well.
The setting of the film continues to bounce back and forth without any clear description of what is occurring. For example, the main characters in the film meet the travelling actors and make a bet. Then, they magically disappear to another setting, which takes place in Hamlet’s castle. This mind-boggling “warp” occurs frequently throughout the film. This demonstrates that this film has a lack of proper transitions. A good film has smooth transitions that make logically sense, which would assist in making the film more fluent.
Also, if the audience is bored and does not understand what is going on, it would cause them to tune out and not be able to fully enjoy or appreciate the movie. This may happen to the audience because of the multiple confusing “warp” scenes. Additionally, the film is filled with excessive amounts of boring dialogue. An example of this would be when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have their complicated and tiresome word games. They talk to each other back and forth about senseless things and have their own methods and point systems.
This boring scene is another example that would cause the audience to be less attentive to the film, since the viewers may not be able to comprehend or enjoy their silly and unappealing game. Plus, this useless dialogue is not important to the main plot, which causes a huge waste of time for the viewers. But in Hamlet, the plot and dialogue is more exciting due its overwhelming conflicts, enriched and emotional vocabulary. In the play “Hamlet,” the plot is well described through emotional soliloquies and intense dialogue between other characters.
An example of this would be when Shakespeare uses a soliloquy to reveal Hamlet’s inner feelings about the hasty marriage between his mother and uncle. Hamlet says “She married. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! ”(Act 1, Scene 2) This example of impressive vocabulary reveals Hamlet’s intense feelings against their immoral marriage, which help make the plot more developed and exciting for the audience. The play “Hamlet” has an excellent plot that outshines the unsatisfying plot of the film “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Thus, the disorientated and dull plot contributes greatly to the blandness of this movie. There are some relevant and contrasting plots, themes, and characters that are discussed in both literature works, which can be used to compare and analyze the two works. The movie “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” is dissatisfying because of its puzzling introduction, drudging plot and unexciting dialogue. In conclusion, the film “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” has many flaws that cause the film to be incomparable to the brilliant play “Hamlet. ”