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When we have found all the meanings and lost all the mysteries, we will be alone, on an empty shore.
In the final, climactic moment of the plot, Stoppard beautifully combines the realization of death with an understanding of Thomasina's heat diagram. Valentine and Septimus both finally see the reality of the picture that Thomasina has created, and the men understand that Thomasina has drawn a picture of a reality where all humanity is doomed and destined for a fiery end. There is a sudden urgency for time and moment as the play draws to its end, and even Hannah Jarvis must submit and beg for a dance. The characters realize the unfulfilling, if not damning, end of academia and brace close to the mysteries of relationships and others around them that may allow them stolen time and leave room for wonder. The eagerness of Thomasina—the creator of the frightening picture of mortality—to dance reveals that there are other types of knowledge to be had in the world and new mysteries to be solved. With dance, with love, with carnal knowledge, one might avoid the empty shore. Thomasina suggests that the cold, emptiness can be overcome with heat energy and with waltzing and dancing that will allow new knowledge and fulfillment.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Arcadia!