• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Some critics have suggested that the dazzling intellectual display in Stoppard's plays comes at the expense of genuine emotional engagement. We are amused, intrigued, even educated but we do not feel any real sympathy for his characters. How far do you fi

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Some critics have suggested that the dazzling intellectual display in Stoppard's plays comes at the expense of genuine emotional engagement. We are amused, intrigued, even educated but we do not feel any real sympathy for his characters. How far do you find this true of Arcadia? The first thing we notice about this play is its intellectual brilliance. The characters are amusing and we are interested in how they relate to each other. As the play goes on, however, we do not find it easy to care about most of Stoppard's characters. In order to assess whether the critics are making a fair judgement of the play, it is necessary to explore in more depth how a writer creates sympathy for his characters and to analyse the extent to which Stoppard has done this in Arcadia. When the audience is emotionally involved with characters they react in a particular way. The audience would feel for the characters, caring what happens to them during the course of the play. Also the audience would identify with each main character and understand their motives and reactions during the play. ...read more.

Middle

He is also rude and insensitive, calling Hannah a 'dickhead'. Bernard's desire for fame provides dramatic interest in the play, as it causes chaos between the modern day academics, but it is not likely to make the audience identify with him. We are pleased when we see his efforts come to nothing, as he is proved wrong by Hannah Jarvis. Bernard is an amusing character but not a likeable one, and we do not care what happens to him on a personal level. In fact, we have a sense of satisfaction when we see him fail. Another character that does not invite audience sympathy is Lady Croom, the dominant battle-axe who storms around the estate. For instance, in the first scene, when the members of the house come together to hear Mr Noakes' plan for the garden, Lady Croom's unpleasant nature come across. Noakes is never allowed to start, let alone finish, his presentation because Lady Croom persistently cuts in. Every time she says 'Mr Noakes, back to you' or Mr Noakes- now at last it is your turn' she then cuts in on him and disapproves of him before he completes a whole sentence. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bernard constantly takes the opportunity to insult Hannah's academic status: Bernard: You've never understood him, as you've shown in your novelette. Here, he refers to Hannah's book as a 'novelette', implying that it is a trivial work of no importance. This is characteristic of the way he talks to her. Hannah is slightly more sympathetic than Bernard, but she also participates in the spiteful conversations that the academics have between them. Thus we rarely see genuine caring interaction so this makes it hard to care about the characters. The only relationship in the play that does make us feel something for the characters involved is the one between Thomasina and Septimus. It is clear that he genuinely cares about her, and at the end, when they dance together, there is a sense of connection which makes the audience feel an emotional response. I think the great achievements of this play must be considered intellectual rather than emotional. Stoppard keeps the audience amused with witty conversation, irony and playful use of language. The audience enjoys this and gets intellectual satisfaction from admiring Stoppard's cleverness. The knowledge he displays will appeal to the well-educated person in the audience able to appreciate the skill with which he manipulates ideas and concepts. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. What kinds of humour does Aristophanes use in his plays? To what extent would ...

    War is represents a form of sterility and infertility in the play, as its end means is not beneficial and brings about no advantage for the people in the society. A valid quote to justify such an opinion is "At last!

  2. Looking at the trial and execution of Sir Thomas More, how do Robert Bolt's ...

    So it is the King's justice that is being used, not 'God's' justice, as More seems to think is more prominent than it is. The body language in this scene is interesting; More seems relaxed, Cromwell seems afraid and agitated, whereas Cranmer and Norfolk seem more desperate to get More to sign.

  1. How successfully do you think Tom Hanks engages the sympathy of the audience as ...

    Forrest doesn't know how he is meant to feel and react to his mother's death, so he hides his emotion and bottles it up. When Forrest's mother dies the audience feel sympathy for the loss of Forrest's mother and the reaction of Forrest is minimal and that is not normal.

  2. In Arthur Miller's drama 'Death of a Salesman' it may be suggested that Willy ...

    He is also seen as a man who is going through difficulty and persevering which does cause the audience to look on Willy as a tragic hero. The fact that she goes to lengths to protect him indicates there is something there to protect.

  1. Jumpers. The play is written by Tom Stoppard in 1972. The main theme of ...

    this can be seen also as the understanding of how the Rad-Lib movement ends up leading to death. * The name shows their unstable state of mind, their jumping around concepts, not having a single mentality as they are relativists.

  2. How does the Director encourage the audience to feel sympathy for Derek and his ...

    As Bentley enters, the others start ransacking the inside. The contents of shelves are strewn onto the floor and the light bulb is smashed. As one boy covers the owner's lunch in tea from his nearby vacuum flask, Derek attempts to pick up a water-logged sandwich.

  1. The Surface Brilliance of Tom Stoppard's 'Arcadia' Inhibits Appreciation of the Underlying Design, Discuss?

    In the middle of this conversation there is a sudden use of the word 'noodle' by Thomasina to refer to Cleopatra; this change in tone works to grab the audiences' attention while also providing a witty take on a very serious matter.

  2. The three plays we looked at during this module were "Black Mass", the "Jongleur" ...

    How blacks had created white, the white earth portrayed evil and all things intoxicating. These powerful points alienated these racist views, and brought another possible idea to the beginning of the world, time and existence. In the "Jongleur" the audience is made clear the power Jesus has in this play.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work