By Tom Stoppard
Arcadia takes us backward and forward among the 19th and 20th centuries, ranging over the character of fact and time, the variation among the Classical and the Romantic temperament, and the disruptive effect of intercourse on our orbits in existence. concentrating on the mysteries—romantic, medical, literary—that interact the minds and hearts of characters whose passions and lives intersect throughout medical planes and centuries, it truly is “Stoppard’s richest, so much ravishing comedy so far, a play of wit, mind, language, brio and . . . emotion. It’s like a dream of levitation: you’re straight away aloft, hovering, banking, doing loop-the-loops after which, should you imagine you’re approximately to plummet to earth, swooping to a gradual landing of now not simply defined sweetness and sorrow . . . Exhilarating” (Vincent Canby, The long island Times).
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Extra info for Arcadia: A Play
Hannah: (Surprised) Oh! . Thank you! Chloe: (Leaving) Told you. (Chloe closes the door on herself) Hannah: Thank you. Oh dear. 34 SCENE THREE The schoolroom. The next morning. Present are: Thomasina, Septimus, Jellaby. We have seen this composition before: Thomasina at her place at the table; Septimus reading a letter which has just arrived; Jellaby waiting, having just delivered the letter. 'The Couch of Eros' is in front of Septimus, open, together with sheets of paper on which he has been writing.
Note: 'The Couch of Eros' now contains the three letters, and it must do so without advertising the fact. )Mr Hodge, you must speak to your friend and put him out of his affectation of pretending to quit us. I will not have it. He says he is determined on the Malta packet sailing out of Falmouth! His head is full of Lisbon and Lesbos, and his portmanteau of pistols, and I have told him it is not to be thought of. The whole of Europe is in a Napoleonic fit, all the best ruins will be closed, the roads entirely occupied with the movement of armies, the lodgings turned to billets and the fashion for godless republicanism not yet arrived at its natural reversion.
Chloe: (Earnestly) You've been deeply wounded in the past, haven't you, Hannah? Hannah: Nothing compared to listening to this. Why is there nothing in Byron's letters about the Piccadilly reviews? Bernard: Exactly. Because he killed the author. Hannah: But the first one, The Maid of Turkey', was the year before. Was he clairvoyant? Chloe: Letters get lost. Bernard: Thank you! Exactly! There is a platonic letter which confirms everything lost but ineradicable, like radio voices rippling through the universe for all eternity.
Arcadia: A Play by Tom Stoppard