Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth
by Tom Stoppard
Stoppard's two-in-one play Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth is a dazzling display of the Englishman's wit and linguistic ability. Dogg's Hamlet is a play about meaning and words and the possible lack of relation between the two. Perhaps a commentary on society in general or only an observation on criticism on the plays of Shakespeare, Dogg's presents a world in which people speak to each other and accomplish tasks, but without their vocabulary signifying the same thing. Stoppard cleverly uses this linguistic anomaly as a bridge to a unique adaptation on Hamlet, quickly turning his usual play on words to words on plays. Cahoot's Macbeth, in turn, consists of an underground performance of Macbeth, but where the outside world, ie the audience, is in fact part of the play and the struggle. An underground performance of Macbeth in Soviet territory prompts detectives to interfer in the shortened production, thus continuing the theme of the meaning of words in relation to Shakespeare and the events described. Macbeth is in fact a description of what is happening while it is happening because of the play. Again, Stoppard presents readers with a witty, comical, and smart piece.