1. METADRAMA IN ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD The themes of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead have been familiar in contemporary literature--anxiety and confusion of life, the helplessness under forces impervious to reason, the absence of identity and faith, which are common concerns of the Theatre of the Absurd. Stoppard presents in philosophical ways the lack of absolute values, the problem of freedom, the uncertainty of all knowledge and perception (Brasell, 1985). As far as I could see, the title Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (hereafter 'R and G') itself has indicated the major themes of the play. Like the implication of the modern colloquialism "You are dead", Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (hereafter 'Ros' and 'Guil') are in trouble. The two attendant lords from Shakespeare's Hamlet are thrown by Stoppard into a predicament far beyond their understanding, striving to make sense of their existence yet sill left identityless and helpless. Too trivial and insignificant lives the pair live, with inability for any decisive action, Ros and Guil have long been living dead, as the title has proclaimed even before they make their entrance in the story. The revealing of these themes owes greatly to Stoppard's employment of metadrama, which could be the most characteristic of the play. This paper is to try a closer look at Stoppard's metadramatic devices in R and G to see how they contribute to reinforcing those themes.