Arcadia: A Drama of Chaos

Khalid Ahmad Yas

Vol. 17 Jan-Jun 2024


As a paradigm shift away from Newtonian determinism and a solution to thermodynamics pessimism, chaos theory presents a new perspective of a world that is both ordered and disordered, in which Man is neither totally free nor entirely bound. Chaos theory transcends disciplinary boundaries and offers a fresh approach that has resonated through various genres, particularly drama and novel. In Arcadia, Stoppard interweaves chaos theory into the play's content and structure. The paper aims to reveal how Stoppard utilized the two branches of chaos theory: order hidden in chaos and order arising from chaos to present a universal image. By integrating universal humanism with modern science, Stoppard proposes that we are not only influenced by chaos, but we are also an integral part of it. Man can create as much disorder as order and can influence change within a system through his own choice.

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