Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead quotes

48 total quotes (ID: 1078)

Guildenstern
Other
Rosencrantz
The Player


The sight is dismal; and our affairs from England come too late: the ears are senseless that should give us hearing, to tell him his commandment is fulfill'd – that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Lines of Hamlet, from which the title of the play and movie are derived.


Guildenstern: Who are we that so much should converge on our little deaths?
The Player: You are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. That's enough.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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 …?

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.

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.

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.

Life in a box is better than no life at all, I expect. You'd have a chance, at least. You could lie there thinking, "Well. At least I'm not dead."

Pirates could happen to anyone.

Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. Must have been shattering, stamped into one's memory. And yet, I can't remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it. Before we know that there are words. Out we come, bloodied and squalling, with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there's only one direction, and time is its only measure.