HONORS PS1500 - It's About Time

Arcadia, Act 1, Scenes 3 and 4 C Questions for Discussion


  • Summary

  • On p 55, what sort of mathematics is Thomasina attempting to picture? On pp 62 to 69, how does Valentine describe and react to her "New Geometry of Irregular Forms?"

  • On p 57, Septimus argues that knowledge cannot be lost forever, but that "what we let fall will be picked up by those behind." Do you agree with his sentiments?

  • What did Mr. Chater discover at breakfast (according to Thomasina on p 54) that again made him angry with Septimus? From p 59, which grieves him more, the insult to his wife or the insult to his poetry? Why should Chater not be comforted by Capt. Brice's promise to "let the air out of" Septimus on p 62?

  • What is Valentine's project in mathematical biology? What problem he is having with it?

  • On p 68, Valentine says that "The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is. It= s how nature creates itself, on every scale, the snowflake and the snowstorm. ... It makes me so happy. It's the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong." Does this conform to the public image of scientists? Do you think scientists really behave this way?

  • On pp 70 and 71, how would you characterize the debate between Bernard and Hannah concerning Byron's presence at Sidley Park in 1809 and his supposed duel with Chater. Who is carefully thinking, and who is following a gut reaction?


    Acting Assignments for Arcadia


    1. Act 1, pp. 54 - 58 (Two parts: Septimus and Thomasina)

    Starts with Septimus: Ah. Mr. Chater was at breakfast, of course.

    Ends with Thomasina: I hope you die!

    2. Act 1, pp. 65 - 70 (Two parts: Valentine and Hannah)

    Starts with Valentine: It= s how you look at population changes in biology.

    Ends with Hannah: I=ve always been given credit for my unconcern.


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    Last modified:  Thursday, March 03, 2005 05:04 PM