Arcadia | Critical Review by John Simon

This literature criticism consists of approximately 3 pages of analysis & critique of Arcadia.
This section contains 784 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Arcadia

Critical Review by John Simon

SOURCE: "Wits' End," in New York Magazine, Vol. 28, No. 15, April 10, 1995, pp. 74-5.

[In the following excerpt, Simon argues that although Arcadia is clever, the play suffers from too much erudition.]

"Its ingenuity is stupendous," wrote Harold Hobson in the London Sunday Times about Tom Stoppard's first hit, and so is that of his latest, Arcadia: stupendous and sometimes, I'm afraid, stupefying. To say that Stoppard is the cleverest playwright active in English is probably a platitude. But cleverness engenders its own problems: It is almost as hard for a clever playwright to create an unclever character as it is for a plodding playwright to create a clever one.

But some characters, even in a Stoppard play, cannot be clever. The only way the author can manage this is to make them into fools or near-mutes. There is nothing in between...

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This section contains 784 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Arcadia
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