Tom Stoppard: Arcadia, Jumpers, Travesties, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Overview

For well over thirty years, Tom Stoppard has consistently held his position as one of England's most admired dramatists. And for this edition of Faber Critical Guides, Jim Hunter examines four of Stoppard's finest works in the context of his entire oeuvre. Hunter writes, "Stoppard's plays present a unique interplay between fun today and the most basic and serious challenges to human understanding. He writes jokes and comic routines; but at the same time he is also writing about moral responsibility, about ...

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Overview

For well over thirty years, Tom Stoppard has consistently held his position as one of England's most admired dramatists. And for this edition of Faber Critical Guides, Jim Hunter examines four of Stoppard's finest works in the context of his entire oeuvre. Hunter writes, "Stoppard's plays present a unique interplay between fun today and the most basic and serious challenges to human understanding. He writes jokes and comic routines; but at the same time he is also writing about moral responsibility, about goodness, and about our scientific, mathematical, or philosophical understanding of reality.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571197828
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Series: Faber Critical Guides Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.37 (w) x 7.02 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Hunter is a lecturer at the Open University in England. He has edited two Faber collections of Modern Short Stories and is also the author of Tom Stoppard's Plays as well as several novels.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Preface
Note on References
Introduction 1
Context and Background 7
Beyond Realism 7
Plays inside Plays 9
Modernism and the Theatre of the Absurd 10
Post-modernism? 15
A and minus A 17
The Dandy and the Would-be-good 17
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead 20
Two Background Texts 21
Rosencrantz: A Synopsis 26
'All the world's a stage' 28
Death 31
Reasoning 32
Jumpers 63
Philosophy 69
Travesties 105
The Expatriates of Zurich 106
Background Text: The Importance of Being Earnest 111
Travesties: Synopsis and Commentary 115
The Problem of Lenin 124
Arcadia 155
Classical and Romantic: Order and Disorder 168
The Symbolism of Gardens 170
Byron 173
Determinism, Free Will, and the Apple in the Garden 174
Chaos 176
The Portfolio 177
Rice Pudding and the Steam Pump 178
What Drives Septimus Mad? 179
'The Attraction that Newton Left Out' 181
Arcadia: A Chronology 200
Criticisms 229
Withdrawing With Style from the Chaos 229
Episodic Rather Than Organic 231
He Can't Do Women 233
All Head and No Heart 235
Charm 237
Select Bibliography 239
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2004

    Dead Weight

    Tom Stoppard is a playwright of grace, imagination, and creativity, often grounded in math or science. Tom Stoppard's work floats. This book is a dead weight. I cannot remember a treatment of any artist so dull, pedantic and superficial as this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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