Maths and Science in Arcadia

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Re-read Act 2 Scene 7 from page 110 to page 117. Discuss Stoppard’s use of maths and science in this extract and elsewhere in the play.

Throughout Arcadia, Stoppard uses characters’ approaches to maths and science to represent different views. Lady Croom, for example, demonstrates Classical views in this extract, with her approval of traditional forms of maths such as “geometry” (page 111) apparent. This sort of view was common within aristocracy in the 1800s, Lady Croom also believing that knowledge should be restricted in order to conform with society’s expectations, telling Thomasina she must be married before she is “educated beyond eligibility” (page 112).

Thomasina, however, has a more Romantic outlook, and often pushes away from classical concepts like geometry, “This? No, I despise geometry!”. In Scene 3 it is also apparent that she passionately believes that mathematical and scientific developments are necessary in order to further our understanding of the world, “What a faint heart! We must work outward from the middle of the maze.” (page 49). Also, while Thomasina is hugely interested in mathematical discovery, in Scene 7 the Romantic aspects of her




Please could you state which text book the info came from...


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