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Arcadia

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title Arcadia

author Tom Stoppard

type of work Play

genre Serio-Comic Modern Drama

language English

time and place written 1993, England

date of first publication 1993

publisher Faber and Faber, Ltd.

tone The tone of Arcadia is passionate, yet restrained. While infusing his characters with great emotion, the plot and story are in the style of a classic comedy of errors whereas the characters have a conscious comedic function.

setting (time) Early nineteenth century and contemporary times

setting (place) Sidley Park in Derbyshire, England

protagonist Thomasina Coverly and Hannah Jarvis

major conflict Hannah Jarvis attempts to reconstruct the stories of Sidley Park.

rising action Thomasina proposes chaos theory; Hannah researches; Bernard arrives at estate; Hannah and Bernard argue about Bernard's theory; Thomasina pleads for a waltz and kiss from Septimus; Gus gives Hannah Thomasina's drawing

climax Septimus lights Thomasina's candle

falling action The couples dance

themes Emotion versus intellect; the mystery of sex; the path of knowledge

motifs Fire; sex; mathematics

symbols Primer; apple; Regency clothes

foreshadowing Thomasina draws a hermit in Noakes's drawing; Hannah describes the a mind in "chaos suspected of genius"; Chloe tells Hannah Gus is in love with her; Septimus asks Brice where his wife is; Bernard mentions Septimus's tortoise, Plautus; Valentine describes the irreversible motion of heat