In response to the bloody conflicts of World War I, the Theatre of the Absurd was born. Soldiers surrounded by decease and devastation frequently found no other alleviation but to laugh at the absurdness of baronial, but progressively nonmeaningful traditional rhetoric and nationalism. This laughter was a response to non merely the absurdness of their state of affairs, but besides to the absurd responses of others to their state of affairs. Out of this response grew what we know today as the Theatre of the Absurd. A authoritative illustration of a work from the Absurdist Theatre is a piece known as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In this work, John Stoppard uses allusion to T.S. Eliot’s verse form, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet to assist the audience understand the drama.
The connexion that is seen ab initio between “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is the trust on romantic sarcasm. In Eliot’s poem romantic sarcasm is expressed in the signifier of important assertations and determinations that are made once more and once more merely to be followed by an immediate prostration. Throughout Eliot’s poem decisive statements such as Prufrock’s determination “To take you to an overpowering inquiry” are followed by cunctation and ideas that “There will be clip, there will be clip” . The wit in this technique is besides evident in Stoppard’s drama. This is nicely demonstrated in the gap scenes of the drama where Rosencrantz frequently gathers himself to state something, but before anything can come out, the minute has passed, and Guildenstern has moved on. Just as Prufrock is unable to make anything, Rosencrantz has merely managed an unintelligible oink. Another connexion between the drama and verse form is an allusion to J. Alfred Prufrock through the character of Alfred in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In Stoppard’s play Alfred is the tragedian who plays a miss have oning a “frock”. Stoppard seems to be mocking the character of J. Alfred Prufrock by proposing that
he is like a miss. The usage of such allusions to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” provides a colourful word picture of Alfred, every bit good as a comparing for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s inability to make move without counsel.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is more evidently linked to the drama, Hamlet. A working cognition of Hamlet is really helpful to understanding the background to the drama, the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the frequent incorporation of scenes from Hamlet. In Act I, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern seem to intensify their consciousness of Hamlet’s transmutation through a inquiry and reply procedure in which Guildenstern pretends to be Hamlet. By holding Guildenstern play the function of Hamlet in order for them to understand Hamlet’s sufferings, Stoppard suggests that dramas can further one’s apprehension. The glare of Stoppard’s piece is the usage of the existent tragic drama, Hamlet, in topographic point of The Murder of Gonzago. By making this, a calamity becomes the vehicle for a sense of calamity in another drama with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern caught in the center without hope of flight. Hamlet is used to add yet another touch of absurdness to the drama by doing topographic points where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern issue from Hamlet, “entry waies someplace else … which is a sort of unity” . From this, Stoppard seems to propose that there is no terminal to this absurd existence and that one will be continually subjected to tragedy.
The allusions to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Hamlet supply a more in depth apprehension of Stoppard’s positions and readings of the significance of his drama. The drama focuses on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s inability to move independently and the fact that it is absurd that no aid of all time arrives to direct them in the right way. As an illustration of a drama that is portion of the Theatre of the Absurd, the usage of these allusions facilitates the intent of portraying the universe as a topographic point free of logic and memory where the supporters must wait for some signifier of way that will ne’er get.