Philosophy of Art- Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”

Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia is, along with his earlier Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, one of the most important plays in the contemporary canon. Upon its transfer to the National Theatre on the West End, the reviewer for The Daily Telegraph noted that “I have never left a play more convinced that I had just witnessed a masterpiece.” Mixing mathematics, metaphysics, and emotion, Arcadia tackles the complex relationship between past and present, emotion and reason, and history and the empirical events upon which a history is based. While many plays can be considered to be “History” plays, Arcadia stages the presence of history: he dramatizes the writing of history, and in so doing allows the presence of the past to reveal the things that written chronicles of past times typically obscure.
Please choose to write about only one of the following numbered questions (do answer any subquestions within the numbered question):

2. Consider Levinson’s argument for a historical understanding of art in a classificatory sense. Using Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia as an example of this, explain why it is historically correct to classify Arcadia as an example of a play. Use specific examples from within the play (such as its scenography, structure, dialogue, etc.) to outline why this is correct. As always, be specific

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