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I think the most dramatic question in the play comes near the very end. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern know that the letter they carry is the death sentence of their friend Hamlet, but they do nothing to stop those events from going forward. They are willing going head with Claudius's plan. Even more shocking is when they re-read the letter later to discover that Hamlet has re-written it to say that the bearers of the letter, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern be "put to sudden death." They are shocked! Guildenstern says, "But why? Was it all for this? Who are we that so much should converge on our little deaths? Who are we?The player responds, "You are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. That is enough." This conversation nearly sums up the entire play. These two men have spent the whole play waiting to be told what to do and take no definitive action in making their own choices. They are existentially dead. That, in addition to the fact that the author is ultimately "in charge" of a text, is the whole point. This whole DOES depend on them. Stoppard couldn't tell his story without his creation of these characters. Everything in this play does come to a head when they "fail to reappear" on the last page, and we are transported back to the allusion play, Hamlet.
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