Tom Stoppard’s Science Plays : Metaphor and Experiment



Rok publikování 2021
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Świat i Słowo (World and Word)
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Klíčová slova Tom Stoppard; science play; theatre; metaphor; textuality; performativity
Popis The science play is a well-established genre of dramatic writing in the English speaking theatrical tradition. This paper discusses three full-length science plays by the prominent British playwright Tom Stoppard. These are Hapgood, Arcadia, and The Hard Problem. The plays are based on popular science sources and offer their audience an access to science. After providing a brief history of the science play and the science show, the paper shows that Stoppard develops the dramatic and the atrical traditions by involving science on the textual (giving popularised scientific knowledge in the form of dialogised lectures) and performative levels (demonstrating or illustrating science on stage), primarily to turn it into a metaphor of human behaviour. Hapgood and Arcadia further engage with science on the structural level, thus becoming thought experiments reflecting upon science. The most recent play, The Hard Problem, develops textual and performative strategies related to science but ceases to experiment with the form, leaving more space for the audience to draw ethical conclusions.
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