Classicism Versus Romanticism in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia Essay

Tom Stoppard is one of the finest playwrights of the modern age. Some of his well-known plays are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thingand many more.The finest of all his plays is Arcadia.The literary meaning of the term “Arcadia” inspired Tom Stoppard to write his play Arcadia. It was titled “Et in Arcadia ego”. “Arcadia” actually means a vision of pastoralism and harmony within nature. The Greek province of the same name has helped in the derivation of the term. The term’s existence has also been figured out in Renaissance Mythology. “Arcadia” refers as something unattainable as commonly as Utopia. The term “Arcadia” is symbolic of pastoral simplicity.The playArcadia comprised themes of classical beauty and harmony in nature. In 1993, the play was penned by Tom Stoppard involving the relationship of the past and the present and between the order and disorder. It has been hailed as the finest play of contemporary theatre in English. Tom Stoppard highlights the relationship between the past and the present and struck a chord of harmony among the various aspects of life. According to Johann Hari, “Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia has only grown in power and relevance.”Stoppard had focused on proving the fact that scientific knowledge differs from literary or historical knowledge. The desire for knowledge is more important and art is easily understandable in a way that science is not while using the language of art to explain things. Tom Stoppard has been hailed as Britain’s greatest living playwright and his plays exemplify his artistic genius and craftsmanship.Stoppard’s Arcadia is a comedy of ideas. According to Michael Bellington, “Arcadia adorns …

…als, botany together with the mathematicians making up the play one of the richest masterpieces of all times. The only tragedy we see in the play is the premature and untimely death of Thomasina Coverly, who dies on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, setting her bedroom in fire. It looks as if she had foreseen her death. The play, Arcadia definitely displays Tom Stoppard’s overwhelming intellectual genius. The play is emotionally and intellectually dense.

Works Cited

Brassell, Tim. Tom Stoppard: An Assessment, London,Macmillan, 1985.

2. Fleming, John. Stoppard’s Theatre: Finding Order Amid Chaos. University of Texas: Pres. Austin, USA.

3. Hunter, J.Tom Stoppard’s Plays.Faber , London,982.

4.Jenkins, A.The Theatre of Tom Stoppard.Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,1987.

5. Stoppard, Tom.Arcadia(Tom Stoppard’s Plays). Faber & Faber Limited, London,1999.

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