Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead quotes

48 total quotes (ID: 1078)

Guildenstern
Other
Rosencrantz
The Player


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


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.

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

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

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

To sum up: your father, whom you love, dies, you are his heir, you come back to find that hardly was the corpse cold before his young brother popped onto his throne and into his sheets, thereby offending both legal and natural practice. Now why exactly are you behaving in this extraordinary manner?

We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.

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.

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.

We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?

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

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.

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.

What could we possibly have in common except our situation?