What is the point of the unicorn story that Guildenstern tells? How does it relate to real life?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The unicorn story appears within the context of their first discussion of human existence as related to the nature of perception and the facts of their situation. Both men present different points about the ways in which humans can and cannot verify their knowledge of the material and spiritual worlds. Some of this dialogue, as Tom Stoppard imagines it, predates the scene in which they first appear in Hamlet. Rosencrantz says, “We were sent for,” echoing Hamlet’s line, “You were sent for.” That they have been summoned is a large part of their knowledge of their mission, which has become the most crucial fact in their lives. Guildenstern says, “Then what are we doing here, I ask myself.”

When they think they hear music, Rosencrantz says, “It couldn't have been real.” They then discuss what is real, with Guildenstern...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 447 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team