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Boats and Boxes

Here are two funny things from Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. I often want to refer to one or the other, but nobody ever knows what I'm talking about. So, I thought I'd post them here, I'm sure that will help.

Here you need to know that Ros. and Guil. are on a boat.

ROS: We might as well be dead. Do you think death could possibly be a boat?

GUIL: No,no,no … Death is … not. Death isn't. You take my meaning. Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can't not-be on a boat.

ROS: I've frequently not been on boats.

Here you don't need to know anything particular.

ROS: It could go on for ever. Well, not for ever, I suppose. (Pause.) Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid on it?


ROS: Nor do I, really. … It's silly to be depressed by it. I mean one thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead … which should make all the difference … shouldn't it? I mean, you'd never know you were in a box, would you? It would be just like being asleep in a box. Not that I'd like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air—you'd wake up dead, for a start, and then where would you be? Apart from inside a box. That's the bit I don't like, frankly. That's why I don't think of it. …


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@ April (2004)