Saturday, 26 September 2009

WHAT'S THE POINT IN RHETORIC?

I love what Stoppard does with language here. Has anyone seen it on stage? Have only seen the brilliant screen version myself; can't imagine it without Roth and Oldman.

10 comments:

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

R: Do you think Death could possibly be a boat?

G: No, no, no... Death is "not." Death isn't. Take my meaning? Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can't not be on a boat.

R: I've frequently not been on boats.

G: No, no... What you've been is not on boats.
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I've never seen it on stage, but I just LOVE the play! I'm sort of a Hamlet junkie. :)

TOM J VOWLER said...

'I've frequently not been on boats.'

I love that line.

Douglas Bruton said...

In my neighbour's back garden, when I was knee-high to grasshopper, was a mini hovercraft under construction. Bigger than a car. Smaller than a truck. He'd sometimes set the fan going and inflate the cushion. It made a great noise.

Didn't ever see it move anywhere though. He'd have had to knock the fence of his garden down to do that.

We all thought he was a bit mad, all the kids in our street. Threw snowballs at his windows in Winter and water balloons in summer.

I sometimes watched him at work from the dark behind my bedroom curtain. I wasn't sure that mad was what it was.

I've more than frequently not been on a hovercraft... as in never.

D

TOM J VOWLER said...

I have. I was sick.

TOM J VOWLER said...

Rosencrantz: I don't believe in it anyway.
Guildenstern: What?
Rosencrantz: England.
Guildenstern: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, then?

Douglas Bruton said...

R: Ah, the conspiracy theory.

G: Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

R: Just because we have the word unicorn, doesn't mean they exist.

G: Are you saying unicorns don't exist?

R: Don't now, nor ever have.

G: So, you're talking about nothing then?

R: Isn't that sort of the point?

Emerging Writer said...

Adore the wordplay. Not sure what it's saying though...is there a story?

TOM J VOWLER said...

There's certainly a story, yes. It's surreal, absurdist and existential - not everyone's cuppa - and many say it doesn't work on screen, as it was written for stage - but I love the film version.

Alison said...

Have people really said it doesn't work on screen? I've seen it as a play and I didn't think it was as good! The choice of actors for the film was perfect, and I love the added bits you get - all of the scientific discoveries that Rosencrantz (or is it Guildenstern) make, that then go wrong when he tries to show anyone :(

TOM J VOWLER said...

One critic said: 'Stoppard delights in sounds and meanings, in puns, in flights of words that soar and swoop as if in visual display. On the stage, this sort of thing can be great fun… In the more realistic medium of film, so many words can numb the eardrums and weigh upon the eyelids like old coins.'

Having never seen the stage version, I can't compare, though I take the point it wasn't intended for screen.