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

What conflicts and tensions arise in Act 1 of 'Arcadia'?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐What conflicts and tensions arise in Act 1 of Arcadia? One of the driving forces behind Arcadia is the contrasts, conflicts and tension. While there are many pairs of opposing characters, there are less obvious clashes; conflicts of schools of thought and mindsets. In Arcadia there are two types of knowledge: love and academia, which are in constant conflict throughout the text. It is only the proposition of marriage, the intellectual justification for sex, which allows a resolution between the two forces. The theme of love vs. intellect is touched upon in the first pages of the play. Thomasina interrupts her lesson with Septimus by asking what carnal knowledge is. Sexual knowledge always acts in conflict with intellectual knowledge, and here it gets in the way of the lesson. Thomasina also remarks on the conflict between emotion and intellect in relation to Cleopatra. Her question is prompted by Septimus himself who was found having sex with Mrs. ...read more.


Another example of tension in Arcadia is the dichotomy of Classicism versus Romanticism. It is exemplified by the argument between Lady Croom and Mr Noakes over the changes being made to the garden of Sidley Park. It portrays a move from the symmetry, orderliness and tidiness of the Classic style to the newly fashionable ?picturesque? style of the nineteenth century, a romantic wild landscape of ruggedness, irregular trees and jagged rocks. The eighteenth century age of Enlightenment stressed orderly, rational thought, and conformity to accepted rules and forms, and looked to the Classical Greeks and Romans as models of simplicity, proportion, and restrained emotion in culture, art, and literature. Romanticism of the early nineteenth century was a deliberate revolt against Enlightenment ideals. This contrast is also presented through Septimus and Thomasina, as she argues her new theories and ideas that refute classic Newtonian ideals while he defends them. Hannah?s search for the identity of the hermit Sidley Park, and its possible poetic meanings, remarks on this theme. ...read more.


A great philosopher is an urgent need, there is no rush for Isaac Netwon?. However, the play also explores how the lines between science and literature can be blurred; ?Then maths left the real world behind, just like modern art, really. Nature was classical, maths was suddenly Picassos. But now nature is having the last laugh. The freaky stuff is turning out to be the mathematics of the natural world. Additionally, there is an abundance of clashes of character in Arcadia. The most obvious is Hannah and Bernard, but there is also: Mr Noakes and Lady Croom (in relation to the changing of the garden), Chater and Septimus (perhaps this is more a conflict of intellect, as Septimus constantly deceives Chater with his words) and Valentine and Bernard (a difference of mindsets regarding mathematics and literature). In conclusion, it is the conflicts and tensions set up in the first act that drive the play forward into the next. Stoppard is very effective in ensuring that the play does not simply become a platform for debate regarding the various dichotomies, but they rather add to the deeper meaningswhich Arcadia is steeped in. Taybah Siddiqi 12AM ...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 Other Play Writes 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 Other Play Writes essays

  1. Free essay

    Brave New World

    Marianne's father comments to Marianne's attitude that her escape from boring professor society may lead to danger, "opposite of boredom is chaos". This is ironic because this quote predicts future events. But Marianne is a very brave and strong character.

  2. Human nature was fundamentally irrational to the point of insanity. how is this exemplified ...

    This is apparent in his letters to his mother which reads "I came into this war in a state of innocence, and I leave it so utterly wearied that I am contented to die." this quote reveals Francesco's discontent with serving in the Italian army and marks his first step into insanity.

  1. Our Day Out

    They have loads of freedom. Because there poor they don't get much pocket money. "They've got enough freedom, with their two quid pocket money". We find out that the children can't behave as there immature and call each other names.

  2. Glengaryy Glen Ross - Act 1, Scene 2

    is due to the Polish people and the Indians that they have been given to sell to. Moss uses these groups of people as a common enemy between himself and Aaronow, in order to convince him that they are comrades, that he is on his colleague's side.

  1. Hobson's Choice - With particular reference to Act 1, show how Brighouse presents a ...

    Maggie is a bossy, moody character, and Brighouse uses the first scene to introduce this to the audience in a conversation between her and Alice; the audience can grasp these characteristics in Maggie from her sharp, snappy response to Alice. For example; "Alice: I hoped it was father going out.

  2. What Made A Taste of Honey Dramatic

    Today such a reference would be totally unacceptable. At this time in Manchester, following a gradual recovery from the war there were many buildings and homes that were sub standard needing urgent modernisation. Often there would be several families sharing the same latrine and bathing facilities.

  1. What do we learn about everyday life in the trenches in Act 1 in ...

    OSBORNE: We must have pepper. It's a disinfectant. TROTTER: You must have pepper in soup! [...] STANHOPE: Go there at once and ask Captain Willis, with my compliments, if he can lend me a little pepper." This shows just how much of a big deal they make of not having

  2. Comment on Sherriff's presentation of Stanhope in the first two acts of Journey's End.

    bitterness which is probably a result of his experience of war; this contrasts with Osborne?s more sympathetic comment ?I wonder if he really is bad.

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