Tom Stoppard's theater of engagement: "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead", "Travesties", and "Arcadia"

Date
1999-12-30
Authors
Sproule, Sophia Anna
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Abstract

Tom Stoppard's interest centers around the nature of theater in contemporary culture, as he seeks to illustrate the essential freedom of human existence through the interaction of audience and dramatic “event.” A semiotic analysis of separate elements of Stoppards dramatic technique reveals how his manipulation of stage direction, time, dialogue, and intertextuality highlights the artificial nature of the drama in order to demonstrate its distinction from the real world. Furthermore, by eliciting the spectator's participation in the act of creating the event of the play, Stoppard validates of the ability of individuals to shape their own destinies. By emphasizing the differences between the theatrical world and the real one, Stoppards drama affirms existential freedom in the postmodern world.

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Keywords
Communication and the arts, Language, literature, and linguistics, Arcadia, Theater of engagement, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, Stoppard, Tom, Theater, Dramatic technique, British and Irish literature
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