HONORS PS1500 - Physics in the Plays of Tom Stoppard
Hapgood, Act 2, Scenes1 through 3 C Questions for Discussion
On pp 548 through 560, Hapgood, Blair, and Kerner perform an elaborate charade to trap Ridley. What does Kerner "confess" on pp 551 through 555?
On pp 557 and 558, what is Ridley's opinion of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, or "Star Wars") from the late 1980's?
On pp 558 through 560, Hapgood sets up Ridley by asking him to help her save Joe, her son. What does Hapgood tell Ridley she intends to do?
On p 561, what hint do we get that there are two aspects to Hapgood=s personality?
What is going on in Act 2, Scene 2?
On p 572, Blair tells Kerner, "... it really upsets me, Joseph, that you weren't ... I don't know ... surprised" when Blair showed Kerner the photo of his (Kerner's) cyclotron documents. Since Kerner didn't ask "Paul, where did you get that photo?" Blair suspects that Kerner knows that these documents have been sent to the Russians, and that Kerner sent them. How does change your reading of Kerner's confession on pp 551 through 555? Did you "get what you interrogate for" when re-reading this dialog?
Although Stoppard is rarely forthcoming about the meaning of his plays, he has said of Hapgood, "If there's a central idea in the play, it is the proposition that in each of our characters is the working majority of a dual personality, part of which is always there in a submerged state." (Quoted in Conversations with Tom Stoppard by Mel Gussow, Grove Press, 1996.) Who makes this point in Scene 3? Do you agree that there is a duality in each of us?
1. Act 2, Scene 1, pp. 550 - 554 (Three parts: Blair, Kerner, and Hapgood)
Starts with Blair: The pages were photographed on some kind of table-top, I expect a little hurriedly.
Ends with Kerner: There was a key-code for the hidden files.
2. Act 2, Scene 3, pp. 570 - 574 (Two parts: Blair and Kerner)
Starts with Blair: I must confess I always thought that one Ridley was enough and occasionally surplus to an ideal arrangement of the universe.
Ends with Blair: I= m glad, Joseph.
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Last modified: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 06:22 PM