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Tom Stoppard's play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, draws on two previous theatrical works: Shakespeare's Hamlet and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead follows the "off-stage" exploits of two minor characters from Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. While the two main characters in Stoppard's play occasionally make brief appearances in "Hamlet," as scripted in Shakespeare's original tragedy, the majority of the play takes place in other parts of the castle where Hamlet is set. While "off stage" in this way, the characters resemble the main characters in the absurdist Waiting for Godot. As in Beckett's play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern pass the time by impersonating other characters, engaging in word play, and remaining silent for long periods of time. These same two characters were also featured in a parody of Hamlet, the short comic play by W. S. Gilbert entitled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Gilbert's play makes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern into central characters and alters the storyline of Hamlet.