For several decades, Stoppard has been one of England's most accomplished playwrights. But how—and why—did a man who quit school "totally bored" at age 17 become known worldwide for an intense, witty, and realistic approach to drama that often draws its subject matter from mathematics, philosophy, poetry, physics, history, or advanced classical scholarship?
In this installment of the Faber Critical Guides series, Jim Hunter examines four of Stoppard's finest works—Arcadia, Jumpers, Travesties, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead—within the context of his entire body of work. As Hunter notes, "Stoppard's plays present a unique interplay between fun today and the most basic and serious challenges to human understanding. He writes jokes and comic routines; but at the same time he is also writing about moral responsibility, about goodness, and about our scientific, mathematical, or philosophical understanding of reality."
Hunter's popular and handy guidebook includes: an introduction discussing the distinctive features of Stoppard's work as well as his importance within the broader spectrum of modern theater, a detailed analysis of each of the four classic plays at hand (its language, structure, characters, and overall mood or tone), notes on the performances of these works, and a select bibliography. For all teachers and students seeking a reliable and accessible guide to Stoppard's four major plays, this is the ideal volume.