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by Tom Stoppard

Arcadia Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Does the play suggest that, if Thomasina had not died so young, scientific knowledge would have developed differently? Why or why not?
  2. What might Hannah mean when she says, "it's wanting to know that makes us matter" (2.7)?
  3. What would happen to the play if Thomasina and Septimus were switched, if he was the genius who died an early death and she was the one left behind, obsessed with continuing his work?
  4. Why have the same tortoise in both eras? What about the same Gus/Augustus?
  5. If Arcadia were a movie and had actual locations other than just the one room, what difference, if any, would it make to the story and its meaning?
  6. There's plenty of conflict between Classicism and Romanticism in Arcadia. Does one side win at the end? If so, which one? Which characters are classicists and which are romantics? Do any shift sides over the course of the play?
  7. How would Arcadia be different if it were a novel instead of a play?

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