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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