Laurence Olivier, BBC Award for Best New Play, and was nominated in 1995 for an American Tony Award for Best Play. Tom Stoppard accolades for Arcadia do nothing more than skim the surface of the magnanimity of the play and do not give omelet Justice to its complexities. The title of Arcadia is in reference to the pastoral idea of the Grecian province, the name of which is shared by the title.
The concept of Arcadia is also in reference to an enigmatic phrase that has been the subject of academic discourse: “Et in Arcadia Ego. ” The character Septum, gives the translation that “Even in Arcadia, there I am”- it is this idea of social location that drives the play. Born out of the Juxtaposition of past and present, the world of Arcadia is one that negotiates the divide between Classicism and Romanticism, Euclidean Geometry and Fractal Geometry of Chaos Theory. Arcadia is a place in which history is ” a pattern of loss and recovery of objects and ideas” (Rally 5).
Through Stoppard presenting two coinciding plots in which the past provides the presents conclusions, and it can be assumed that the futurities be a reiteration of discoveries lost and rediscovered. Arcadia opens In 1 In April ruling a lesson Detente student, I monsoonal Covertly, and Tutor, Septum Hodge, in the front room of an old estate owned by Lord and Lady Covertly, in Derbyshire. It is a setting that is exemplary of Euclidean Geometry and the classical thought of Classicism and the Enlightenment.
Septum serves as an embodiment of the periods of the Enlightenment and of Romanticism, conversely Thomas, represents the trading in of the thought processes of Classical Newtonian Deterministic Universe in exchange for Romanticism exemplified through the Theory of Thermal Dynamics and of Geometric Fractals. During the “present” portion of the play, The Covertly Estate is inhabited by the ancestors of the Covers of the 19th Century. The people that inhabit Sidled Park during it’s contemporary setting are Hannah Jarvis, Bernard Nightingale, and the three Covertly children, Chloe(, Valentine, and
Gus who are all representatives in some way of the traits of the characters of the 19th century. The play proceeds to blur the line between past and present, with a combining of the two worlds in the waltz, as a means of showing the relative nature of time and place. Within Arcadia there is a dichotomy in its presentation of history through three main elements: 1) the characters both past and present, 2) the unseen setting of Sidled Park, and 3) scientific background of the play. This dichotomy will be the focus of the section of this paper entitled, “Carnal Embrace, The Garden of
Eden, and Cyclical History’ as it relates to the construction of Acadia, where “the course of history… [has not] been analyzed with the idea of the linearity of time” but in a cyclical form. Additionally, the transformation of the garden from something Tanat was a model AT geometric perfection Into something AT a lavas display of Romanticism. This piece will serve to Juxtapose the concepts of sex, knowledge, and history as being key components to Arcadia and how these components construct a literary criticism of one of Stoppard best works.