In Tom Stoppards almost each play a puzzle or a trap is set, waiting to be solved not only by the characters alone, but in cooperation with the audience or the reader. The whole story is centred on that riddle and the characters are bewildered and have hard times because of the difficulty and complexity of the puzzle. Trying to unfold the problem results in more confusion, and the characters cannot get rid of it. This task is so demanding that it requires the characters to work patiently and to distinguish between the appearances and the reality. This is one of the most troublesome dilemmas of the humanity in general.
Stoppard likes paradoxes and confused situations because his own life has been full of such experiences. Therefore, he uses them in his plays effectively. From his birth conflicts and change have been unchanging parts of his life: to have a Jewish origin; immigrations; the murder of his father who had been a man of medicine; to have a stepfather; a different ethnicity and naturalized citizenship; and different lives in different countries: Czechoslovakia, Singapore, India, England. He was engaged in several jobs, such as a journalist, drama critic, and playwright. Stoppard has surely been affected by these conflicts and changes. He openly acknowledges that he uses these complexities in his plays: I put a position, rebut it, refute it, refute the rebuttal, and rebut the refutation. Forever. Endlessly (Qtd. in Delaney, 1994: 31)
This paper will reveal these dilemmas and dualities, which have never ceased to exist throughout his life and writing career, and to show how effectively and masterfully the playwright applies them in his plays, notably in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
Keywords: Tom Stoppard, Dualities, Paradoxes, Confusion, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead