by Tom Stoppard
Arcadia Sex Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene)
Thomasina: Everything is turned to love with her. New love, absent love, lost love – I never knew a heroine that makes such noodles of our sex. It only needs a Roman general to drop anchor outside the window and away goes the empire like a christening mug into a pawn shop. If Queen Elizabeth had been a Ptolemy history would have been quite different – we would be admiring the pyramids of Rome and the great Sphinx of Verona. (1.3)
Thomasina here sees love – and, by extension, sex – as a failure of priorities, a distraction from the things that really count. What in the rest of the play supports or denies her claim? (See, for starters, the quote from Chloë below.)
Bernard: You should try it. It's very underrated.
Hannah: Nothing against it.
Bernard: Yes, you have. You should let yourself go a bit. You might have written a better book. Or at any rate the right book. (2.5)
Bernard seems to think that sexual repression equals emotional repression equals intellectual repression. While his diagnosis of Hannah may be questionable, he does raise the interesting question of how much mental functioning is affected by physical and emotional states.
Hannah: What the hell is it with you people? Chaps sometimes wanted to marry me, and I don't know a worse bargain. Available sex against not being allowed to fart in bed. (2.5)
Well, maybe Bernard has the point – Hannah isn't exactly the most sex-positive person ever. Her sex vs. farts equivalence is crude, but it does emphasize yet again that sex is, at its most basic, a physical function, with a lot of emotional baggage added on.