Abstract

Creating History in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard is a play that has captured many audiences and critics attention when it made its debut in 1993. But it was not just the story or characters that drew people in, it was the way that Stoppard toggles between the two timelines within it to create a story about how a version history and its interpretation can affect an entire society's perception. Theorist Linda Hutcheon notes a connection between literature and history and calls it historiographic metafiction. The reader can then look at the history within the work and how it's characters interact because of it. In this paper, I look at the competing historical discourse in the play and how it has constructed the characters views of history and how it asks audiences to reevaluate their own understanding of history.

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