HONORS PS1500 - Physics in the Plays of Tom Stoppard
Arcadia, Act 1, Scenes 3 and 4 Questions for
On p 38, what sort of mathematics is Thomasina attempting to picture? On pp 43 to 48, how does Valentine describe and react to her "New Geometry of Irregular Forms?"
On p 39, 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 36) that again made him angry with Septimus? From p 40, which grieves him more, the insult to his wife or to his poetry? Why should Chater not be comforted by Capt. Brice's promise to "let the air out of" Septimus on p 42?
On pp 47 and 48, Valentine says that "The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is. Its 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 49 and 50, 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?
1. Act 1, pp. 36 - 39 (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. 45 - 49 (Two parts: Valentine and Hannah)
Starts with Valentine: Its how you look at population changes in biology.
Ends with Hannah: Ive always been given credit for my unconcern.
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Last modified: Saturday, March 17, 2007 04:12 PM