14 May 2010
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Some background. R & G have been summoned and are on their way to Elsinore. That "way" seems to be a lonely road through woody and rocky terrain.
They encounter a troup of players -- whom they and we will also meet again at Elsinore (but of course you knew that).
The players want to perform something, but R & G aren't in the mood. That sets up this monologue from the head of the troup (played by Richard Dreyfus in the movie).
"Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric. Or blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive.
"But we can't do you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory.
They're all blood, you see."
That seems typical of Tom Stoppard. He is intoxicated with the English language. He writes the rhetoric, with little love or blood. If you share his intoxication, you may think him a genius. If you don't, you may think him a talentless windbag.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.