''Arcadia'' is a 1993 play by Creator/TomStoppard. It is the story of a ChildProdigy, Thomasina Coverly, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge, living in the early nineteenth century, as they explore the relationships between the Enlightenment and Romanticism; order and disorder; Newton, Fermat, and Lord Byron. These scenes are alternated with the modern-day descendents of the Coverlys as they are visited by two writers doing original research that ties back to Sidley Park: Hannah Jarvis, studying TheHermit who once lived on the grounds; and Bernard Nightingale, following up a lead on the Byron connection. These two plots become more and more intertwined, until they finally merge and characters from both times share the stage.

Both plots take place in one room in Sidley Park, the Coverly estate, and thus share a set-- including props that might be anachronistic, like Valentine's laptop. An apple given to Hannah in 1993 is left onstage and then eaten by Septimus in 1809.

''Arcadia'' was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in 1995. The recently-closed (2011) revival was nominated for Tonys for Best Revival and Best Featured Actor (Billy Crudup as Bernard).

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!!''Arcadia'' contains examples of:
* AccidentalKiss: Invoked. Bernard kisses Hannah after she tells him that Septimus and Byron were schoolmates, but Hannah says that it was only out of "general enthusiasm". He later tries to make a move on her, but considering [[spoiler: he was just caught in flagrante delicto with Chloe]], it isn't very effective.
* AllMenArePerverts: Hannah [[InvokedTrope jokes about it]] exasperatedly when Bernard propositions her.
--> '''Bernard:''' Ah well, yes. Men all over.
--> '''Hannah:''' No doubt. Einstein--relativity and sex. Chippendale--sex and furniture. Galileo--'[[DidTheEarthMoveForYouToo Did the earth move?]]' What the hell is it with you people?
* {{Arcadia}}: JustifiedTitle and DiscussedTrope
* BittersweetEnding: Hannah figures out who the hermit is - Yay! [[spoiler: Thomasina is going to burn to death right after the play ends - not so much yay.]]
** Not only that but [[spoiler:That aforementioned hermit? Thomasina's beloved tutor that went mad after she died.]]
* BrickJoke: Hannah warning Bernard that he publishes his supposed 'findings', he won't be able to leave the house without a [[BrownBagMask paper bag]] over his head (He finishes the play doing just that). Thomasina calls Fermat's Last Theorum "a joke to make you all mad"; she later calls her own algorithm a joke, to which Septimus says "it will make me as mad as you promised."
* ButtMonkey: Ezra Chater just can't catch a break.
** The mystery botanist who died of a monkey bite. [[spoiler: aka Ezra Chater.]]
* CallForward:
** Thomasina: "The note in the margin was a joke to make you all mad."
* and later
** Thomasina: "It was a joke."
** Septimus: "It will make me as mad as you promised."
* and
** Septimus: "Be careful with the flame."
* ChekhovsGunman: Gus ends up being the one who cracks the "hermit's" identity at the end.
* ChildProdigy: Gus and Thomasina.
* CantSpitItOut: Almost everyone seems to suffer from this except for Lady Croom. Valentine and Gus both like Hannah, but the former can't seem to do more than joke about it, and Gus, being mute, literally can't say a thing. Septimus sleeps with everyone except [[spoiler: Thomasina]], even though she's the only one he actually cares for.
* DanceOfRomance: Thomasina and Septimus have a waltz lesson (and a kiss) in the last scene.
* DeadpanSnarker: Almost everybody.
* DeathBySex: Inverted. [[spoiler: Thomasina would have survived if Septimus has slept with her that night.]]
* DramaticIrony: Done to tragic effect with Thomasina.
** Bernard presenting his "proofs" of Mr. Chater being gunned down in the duel with Byron. As he gloats over having traced Byron's presence to a dead hare (which Augustus mentions having shot, though Byron claimed it - not to mention Septimus recounting how Byron was always a lousy shot), Bernard's unknowingly making himself into an ass.
* DuelToTheDeath: Mr. Chater wants one with Septimus. After the conversation, so does Captain Brice. Bernard claims Byron fought one. In fact, no duel takes place at all, as the Chaters and Brice are sent away the morning the duel is supposed to happen
* EverybodyHatesMathematics: Averted. Septimus, and Valentine are very good mathematicians, and Thomasina is a math prodigy. Also averted on a meta level by the playwright himself, who wrote the play after reading a book on chaos theory.
* [[UsefulNotes/FermatsLastTheorem Fermat's Last Theorem]]: Septimus assigns it to Thomasina as a joke.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Septimus consoles Thomasina over the loss of the Library of Alexandria in 48 BC, promising that all that is lost will be found again. This turns out to be prophetic when [[spoiler:Thomasina dies in a fire]], leaving her formulas to remain unsolved until 100 years later.
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: Thomasina has the cleverest (and most tactless) brain of anyone in the play, to Septimus' suppressed delight.
* TheGhost: Lord Byron and Mrs. Chater's actions drive a significant portion of the plot, but they never appear onstage.
* HandsOnApproach: Valentine uses Hannah's finger to press the computer key zoom out on the fractals created by Thomasina's iterated algorithms.
* HeroicBSOD: It's stated that [[spoiler: Septimus]] has one [[spoiler: after Thomasina's death]] and never really recovers.
* HistoryRepeats: One of the main themes of the play is order vs. chaos: Everything in nature is locked into mathematics. However, even as the formula continually repeats, changes are bound to occur. Hence we see events in 1809 being echoed in the present (The time periods start to blur together in Act II). Such events include:
** People getting busted while having "carnal embrace" in the gazebo/hermitage.
** "Am I the first person to have thought of this?" ''[bewilderment]'' "Yes, as far as I know you are the first person to have thought of this."
** "Lord Byron was amusing at breakfast."
** "I don't know that I have received a more unusual proposal."
** Couples waltzing.
* HotForTeacher: Thomasina.
* HotTeacher: Septimus (he's only 23 after all).
* HumiliationConga: Bernard discovers that [[spoiler:Byron didn't kill Chater]] just ''after'' he's touted his new discovery ("I was on ''The Breakfast Hour''!"), is obliged to admit his mistake in an open letter in the newspaper, is forced to have his picture taken for the newspaper for a separate event (though it will probably appear in the same edition), and is finally caught ''in flagrante delicto'' in the hermitage with Chloe.
* IdenticalGrandson: Augustus and Gus (though there is a possibility they are intended to be the same character)
* IronicEcho: "A scrape."
* LadykillerInLove: Septimus. [[spoiler:Too bad the object of his affection dies right after the play ends, and it's kind of his fault]].
* LastMinuteHookup: Subverted. [[spoiler: Septimus and Thomasina dance and kiss and she invites him up to her room, but he declines and she dies that night.]]
* LetsDuet: Lady Croom and Count Zelinsky play one on the piano offstage (with a suggestive, sudden pause at the end), to Septimus's annoyance and dismay.
* LiesToChildren: the [[EstablishingCharacterMoment very first lines of the play]] consist of Thomasina asking Septimus what "carnal embrace" was, only to be told that it consists of "[[{{Pun}} throwing one's arms around a side of beef]]." Subverted quickly when Thomasina figures out it's something else entirely, and force Septimus to tell her what it is (along with an explanation of Fermat's Last Theorem).
* LoveDodecahedron: or as Lady Croom puts it, "It is a defect of God's humour that he directs our hearts everywhere but to those who have a right to them."
* LoveEpiphany: Septimus has one in the last scene. [[spoiler: Too late.]]
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Septimus. [[spoiler:Technically, Accidentally Causing the Death of Your Love Interest By Not Sleeping With Her Out of Concern for Her Future makes you crazy.]]
* MadMathematician: The hermit, aka [[spoiler: Septimus after Thomasina burns up along with her essay on non-equilibrium thermodynamics. It's implied that Septimus goes insane both from grief and his inability to recreate Thomasina's formulae]].
* MeasuringTheMarigolds: Bernard attempts to invoke the trope, claiming that he would have been content with Aristotle's 55 crystal spheres before Newton broke everything down into motions. The play as a whole defies it, merging mathematical concepts like chaos theory and iterated algorithms into human nature and the world around us.
* NerdsAreSexy: Septimus is able to seduce Lady Croom with his intellect.
* NotSoDifferent: the reserved, unemotional Hannah and the flamboyant Bernard are [[RomanticismVersusEnlightenment polar opposites]], yet even Bernard relies upon mathematical analysis at one point. Near the end Hannah says that she doesn't have proof who the hermit is, but she's ''certain'' it's Septimus--just as Bernard didn't have proof that Byron shot and killed Chater, but he was certain that he did. [[spoiler:At the very end, Hannah gets the proof she's waiting for.]]
* ObliviousToLove: Hannah.
* PropheticName: Mrs. ''Chater''?
* ReallyGetsAround: Mrs. Chater.
* RomancingTheWidow: Inverted--Captain Brice cuts to the chase by having the rival suitors for Mrs. Chater's affection duel each other. When that doesn't take, Brice packs off Mr. Chater to the Caribbean.
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Thomasina
* SillyRabbitRomanceIsForKids: Hannah.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Zig-zags all over the place. The 1800s-era love story ends in tragedy, which Hannah thinks is indicative of "the whole Romantic sham", but her work (and her dance with Gus) resolve both the academic and romantic loose ends from the past. While the play makes fun of Bernard's fame-hungry antics, it outright states that the pursuit of knowledge, however unsuccessful, is worthwhile in and of itself (and in the play, the truth comes to light eventually).
* StacysMom: Lady Croom
-->'''Thomasina''': Are you in love with mama, Septimus?\\
'''Septimus''': You mustn't be cleverer than your elders. It's not polite.
* StarCrossedLovers: Septimus and Thomasina.
* TeacherStudentRomance: Subverted with Septimus and Thomasina [[spoiler: since they never make it past their first two kisses]]
* TheCasanova: Lord Byron
* TheCharmer: Septimus
* ThereAreNoCoincidences: [[spoiler:We are told at first that Ezra Chater the poet, a guest at Sidley Park, is separate from Ezra Chater the botanist, who died in Martinique. We are told wrong.]]
* TwoLinesNoWaiting
* UpperClassTwit: Bernard, though he's somewhat of a GentlemanSnarker as well.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Most of Stoppard's plays are by a dramaturge/English major for dramaturgs/English majors. ''Arcadia'' is written for mathematicians.
* TheVoiceless: Chloe's younger brother, Gus. It's implied that he is autistic.

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