Arcadia

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
Though Bernard, like Hannah, is a scholar interested in the Romantic era, he is her opposite. Where she is cautious and focused on figures neglected by history, Bernard is swaggering, overconfident, and obsessed with the already-renowned Byron. He gets into trouble, publishing an ambitious theory about Chater’s death without adequate proof. Though Hannah and Bernard should be enemies, they end up with a relationship based on grudging mutual admiration. Bernard has an affair with Chloe.

Bernard Quotes in Arcadia

The Arcadia quotes below are all either spoken by Bernard or refer to Bernard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Farrar, Strauss and Giroux edition of Arcadia published in 1994.
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

The whole Romantic sham, Bernard! It’s what happened to the Enlightenment, isn’t it? A century of intellectual rigor turned in on itself. A mind in chaos suspected of genius. In a setting of cheap thrills and false emotion…The decline from thinking to feeling, you see.”

Related Characters: Hannah Jarvis (speaker), Bernard
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the scholar Hannah Jarvis makes a series of bold pronouncements about the Romantic era of European history. During the romantic era, she claims, Europe underwent a steady decline. Whereas the Enlightenment era had celebrated thought and rigorous self-control, the Romantics celebrated feeling, freedom, and happiness for their own sakes. The general "decay" from Enlightenment to Romanticism was, for Jarvis, characteristic of a decline from "thinking to feeling."

The passage openly suggests that the contrast between thinking and feeling is a major theme of the play. Hannah, like Lady Croom, is definitely on the Enlightenment/thinking side of the equation. (Such a binary is misleading, however, since the Romantics were hardly the sensual idiots Hannah believes them to be, and the Enlightenment thinkers were hardly the cold rationalists she claims they were.)

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Arcadia quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Arcadia LitChart as a printable PDF.
Arcadia.pdf.medium

Bernard Character Timeline in Arcadia

The timeline below shows where the character Bernard appears in Arcadia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...then steps out. Chloë Coverley, the daughter of the current Lord of the estate, and Bernard Nightingale, another scholar, enter, and Valentine briefly enters and exits. Chloë tells Bernard about Hannah’s... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...in preparation for a garden party. Valentine quickly and distractedly tries to figure out who Bernard is. Bernard explains that he’s come to talk to Hannah about academic matters. Valentine talks... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah enters, calling Bernard “Mr. Peacock,” though his last name is Nightingale—evidently Chloë concealed his identity, as he’d hoped.... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard finally gets to the point. He’s looking for information on Ezra Chater, and takes out... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard explains he’s giving a talk possibly about Chater next week, and is looking for leads... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah and Bernard banter about Valentine, who’s studying something at Oxford related to math, computers, and grouse. Valentine... (full context)
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...her academic project, which centers around the same era (early 19th century) that’s relevant to Bernard. She’s trying to research the Sidley Park hermit, who she’s using to frame her interpretation... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...is Stoppard’s invention) described in a letter as “a sage of lunacy,” brilliant but insane. Bernard focuses on whom Peacock was writing to as opposed to the details regarding the hermit,... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard asks Hannah about some details relating to Lord Byron, and she realizes that Byron, not... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard explains that he thinks that, though this copy of “The Couch of Eros” is inscribed... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Bernard makes his point more significant by taking out three letters that had been stuck in... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard is certain that there will be something in Lady Croom’s papers that proves his idea.... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Chloë tells Hannah that Bernard appears to have some feelings for her, and that he should come to the garden... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Bernard enters, thrilled to have discovered a note about “The Couch of Eros” penciled into Byron’s... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
...he knows that Byron stayed at Sidley Park in 1809 because of the game books. Bernard, stunned, exits in search of the books. Gus enters, and Valentine prepares to leave. Hannah,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard reads his paper about the Chater-Byron duel to the Coverly siblings. Partway through, Hannah enters... (full context)
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
The argument escalates, and Bernard calls Caroline Lamb, beloved subject of Hannah’s bestseller, talentless. Valentine mentions that statistical analyses of... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard prepares to leave for London, but explains he’s coming back for the party, which he’ll... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 7
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah enters, noting the group’s unusual outfits. Bernard’s theory about Byron has even made the tabloids, but she still thinks it’s silly. Chloë... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...“carnal things” to him. They leave to take a walk, Augustus carrying Thomasina’s drawing, as Bernard, Valentine, and Hannah enter. Hannah carries the garden book of Lady Croom. Bernard is in... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Bernard scrabbles to think if any of his claims are true. He still thinks the Piccadilly... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Bernard enters, removing his costume and planning to leave. Septimus and Thomasina dance slowly and kiss.... (full context)