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Title: Chaos, Fractal & Elusive Formula for the Future: A Reading of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia
Authors: Pal, Amitava
Keywords: free will
chaos theory
Issue Date: Feb-2021
Publisher: Registrar, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India, 721102
Series/Report no.: Journal of the Department of English;Vol. 14
Abstract: Tom Stoppard announced his arrival on the British theatre with his breakthrough play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in 1966. Since he appeared towards the fag-end of the theatre of the absurd era, he did at once imbibe and depart from the core tenets of the absurd worldview. One interesting point that early Stoppardian plays often explore is the question of free will versus determinism. This question becomes further intriguing in mature Stoppard. While free will is often disallowed a free run, the path of inevitable predictability becomes more of a question mark. Stoppard largely resolves this perennial conflict in his unique way in his 1993 play Arcadia. This resolution is aided by otherwise non-theatrical ideas – ideas which primarily pertain to the world of science and geometry. This article would decipher the layers of Chaos theory, fractals, Fermat's Last Theorem, iterated algorithm et al, and zero in on how these scientific concepts are integrated by Stoppard into not only the content, but also the form of the play.
ISSN: 0973-3671
Appears in Collections:Journal of the Department of English - Vol 14 [2021]

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