Transformations

The Study of transformation and its meaning can be difficult to understand. It can however be made easier through he use of sources such as novels, plays and movies. Two plays that help this study, include Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Stoppard’s R + G.Both plays are written in different times making the two a very important aspect, in its relation to the notion of transformation’. Through elements in both plays such as context, themes and techniques we are able to understand the relationship between the two
The context and values of both plays are able to bring out the nature of the protagonists. The context of hamlet reflects mainly on the cahning cociety, in the 16th ; 17th century’s, from the Elizabethan society to the Renaissance Period.The context of R + G on the other hand reflects on changed society today focusing on the presence of 20th century existentialism and the influence of the theatre of absurd. Shake’s revenge tradegy clearly exemplifies the value of Elizabethan society.This is most manifested in the divine supremacy afforded the king and the profound ; moral consequences of regicide. Awareness of the divinity’ was paramount in the Elizabethan age as seen with Hamlet grapple with fate “to be or not to be” soliloquy (Act III).In R + G on the other hand, instead of being regarded as high authority, they absolutely have no power and are viewed as your typical ordinary man.

Protesting against the notion that the universe is a determined, ordered system, the external argument is clearly manifested through the attempts of stoppards protagonist, to establish a sense of information “which denotes a district lack of order to the universe.WE can identify R + G as part of a disillusioned age which the world has stopped making sense through the undermining of values & assurances of former generations. This can be seen I Act II of R + G’s apparent onging movement around the stage and inconsequential questioning.

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The understanding of transformation’ can also be made apparent through theme/character and it helps understand the relationship between the two plays. It brings out the journey on the protagonist in the play. Central to Hamlet is a consideration of the notion of destiny’. In R + G as in Hamlet, it raises the issue of fate and its role in our lives. The relationship between the two plays is explored raising the issue of its role in our lives.Hamlet shows on of the greatest rites of pass: from immaturity to accommodation with death. Until hamlet leaves for England, he continues to ponder his destiny, posed as what in fact “is man”. (act 4). The questions define him, challenging his self-perception ; moral vision. Upon his return however he has come to accept the “divinity that shapes our ends”.


In R + G however, as a tragicomedy, it explores the extent to which the individual can affect control over the unfolding of his destiny in the modern universe. The player furthermore offers a perspective that resonates with Shakespeare’s text.As a tragedian he must follow direction & this affords him the identity & purpose that eludes the courtiers, as he embraces the notion of death as part of the overall “design at work in all art”. Stoppard’s play is about shakespeare’s play and feeds on it for its own meaning. The play is deeply dependant on Shakespeare’s Hamlet and encouraged to find humor in tragic drama. R + G are lead to a realisation that “there’s only one direction, and time is its only measure”. Any attempt of them to assert themselves within the larger scheme of fate essentially thwarted, as the “move idly toward eternity, without the possibility of reprieve or hope of explanation”.

The aspect most important in revealing the elements of this play is the use of techniques and how they are able to bring out the fate of the protagonist in both plays. In us of techniques such as modes of expression, tone and language help in this. In hamlet the use of soliloquies as a mode of expression gives complexity to the mind-set ; vision of the play’s tragic hero by revealing many of the play’s themes through motifs.This can be seen in hamlets first soliloquy reveals a longing death and his offense to his mother’s incestuous actions. It also shows his different views from the beginning of the play compared to the end.In the other hand in R + G, the use of fractured, irregular patterns of dialogue reflect the differences between the condition’ of modern man ; that of the Classical Renaissance figure. This is seen in Stoppards game of questions’ offering the questioning of 20th Century common man.

In hamlet we see a transformation in him, where at throughout the whole play he grapples with fate but by the end he accepts it “This I, Hamlet the Dane” (Act. 5). In R + G however the general tone of the central characters is used to illustrate the response of R + G to their predicament as seen in that they have real fates but are within a confused world. This as in hamlet considers Guil. to ponder fate.

There views are clearly not as important as hamlets due to their power “you are R + G. that’s enough”.
Finally the use of language within the plays reflects the fate of the protagonists. The language in Hamlet is of wit and satire. It contributes to hamlets character as he is more of an “artist”.His consideration of moral consequences of his actions influences his transformation throughout the play. (e.g. “to be or not to be” soliloquy) In R + G however language used is comedy and farce.

Stoppards more comical commentaries reveal crucial aspects of R + G personalities, such as Guild.’s greater used of with, pondering on fate in contrast to Ros pondering on why his toenails never seem to grow.


Through the use of context, themes and techniques in both plays, combined with the understanding of the notion of transformation’ the relationship of both plays are easily clarified and defined.