Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead quotes

48 total quotes (ID: 1078)

Guildenstern
Other
Rosencrantz
The Player


We cross our bridges when we come to them, and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.


If we had a destiny, then so had he, and if this is ours, then that was his, and if there are no explanations for us, then let there be none for him.

Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.

The only beginning is birth, and the only end is death – if you can't count on that, what can you count on?

There must have been a time, in the beginning, when we could have said – no. But somehow we missed it.

No, no, no … you've got it all wrong … you can't act death. The fact of it is nothing to do with seeing it happen – it's not gasps and blood and falling about – that isn't what makes it death. It's just a man failing to reappear, that's all – now you see him, now you don't, that's the only thing that's real: here one minute and gone the next and never coming back – an exit, unobtrusive and unannounced, a disappearance gathering weight as it goes on, until, finally, it is heavy with death.

Pragmatism?! Is that all you have to offer?

Has it ever happened to you that all of a sudden and for no reason at all you haven't the faintest idea how to spell the word – "wife" – or "house" – because when you write it down, you just can't remember ever having seen those letters in that order before …?

Audiences know what they expect, and that is all they are prepared to believe in.

For a handful of coin I happen to have a private and uncut performance of "The Rape of the Sabine Women," or rather woman, or rather Alfred, and for eight you can participate.

We're tragedians, you see? We follow directions – there is no choice involved. The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily. That is what tragedy means.

We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else. Sometimes quoted as: Every exit is an entrance somewhere else.

Life is a gamble, at terrible odds – if it was a bet, you wouldn't take it.

There we were – demented children mincing about in clothes that no one ever wore, speaking as no man ever spoke, swearing love in wigs and rhymed couplets, killing each other with wooden swords, hollow protestations of faith hurled after empty promises of vengeance – and every gesture, every pose, vanishing into the thin unpopulated air. We ransomed our dignity to the clouds, and the uncomprehending birds listened. Don't you see?! We're actors – we're the opposite of people!

We're more of the love, blood and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see.