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Arcadia

Arcadia

by Tom Stoppard

Foil

Character Role Analysis

Hannah to Bernard

Hannah and Bernard are both literary scholars focusing on the Romantic era, but the resemblance ends there – or so it initially seems. Where Hannah is reserved and cautious, Bernard is flamboyant and reckless; where Hannah looks for evidence, Bernard books a press tour. Hannah does, however, have a few Bernardian moments, and events show that Bernard would have benefited from having more than a few Hannahesque ones. Placing these two characters against each other prevents the play from boiling down to a debate "just" between science and literature; even (or maybe especially) within literary studies, Hannah and Bernard show, conflict rages strong.


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