Free Will In Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead

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Throughout Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the debate between free will and a predetermined fate are paramount. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are faced with the question of whether they have control of their own situation or whether no matter the action they take a course has already been set them. In Act III, the pair spends the entire act upon a boat that is carrying Hamlet to England. On this boat the two realize that in some way they have stumbled upon a time of freedom. This trip to England offers them a chance to act as they wish and go where they want without being told. However, Guildenstern begins to ponder whether their own actions actually have an effect on the outcome of their story. When one of the players asks the pair if they have spoken to Hamlet, Rosencrantz responds saying, "It's possible," immediately followed by Guildenstern responding, "But it wouldn't make a difference," (116). Stoppard seems to posit that total freedom is not easily…show more content…
The conflict of whether Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are free and if not to what degree do the maintain control of their actions is paramount to understanding the play. Stoppard seems to be illustrating that while life may contain limitations and fixed points, the most important aspect of life is how one spends the moments of freedom within those. The way Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are depicted can make one wonder whether humans could indeed handle complete freedom. Without the guidance of outside forces it seems the play would have been about nothing, but because limits have been set a story was created. While one may not be totally free, Stoppard seems to say that, that is a good thing. People are given freedom in how they live within limitations and that is what is important. The ability to seize the moments of freedom is important and to make sure one takes full advantage of
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