Guildenstern quotes

The scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defence against the pure emotion of fear.

The equanimity of your average tosser of coins depends upon a law, or rather a tendency, or let us say a probability, or at any rate a mathematically calculable chance which ensures that he will not upset himself by losing too much, nor upset his opponent by winning too often. This made for a kind of harmony and a kind of confidence; it related the fortuitous and the ordained into a reassuring union which we recognised as nature. The sun came up about as often as it went down in the long run, and a coin showed heads about as often as it showed tails.

You're familiar with the tragedies of antiquity, are you? The great homicidal classics?

What could we possibly have in common except our situation?

All your life you live so close to truth it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye. And when something nudges it into outline, it's like being ambushed by a grotesque.

The colours red, blue and green are real. The colour yellow is a mystical experience shared by everybody. Demolish.

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 …?

We only know what we're told, and that's little enough. And for all we know, it isn't even true.

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