Why is the play "Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead" by Tom Stoppard considered absurdist?

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crmhaske eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absurdist fiction involves the inability of the characters to find meaning in life, and this often takes the form of satire, illogic, and the breakdown of reason.  In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the roles from Hamlet are essentially reversed.  The play unfolds with the plot of Halmet in the background and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the main characters rather than supporting ones.  The two struggle to understand what is going on around them and are reduced to idiots lost in a world bigger than they can understand.  They frequently misremember and confuse each other.

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