Arcadia

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The Sidley Park hermit Character Analysis

The hermit is actually Septimus, but his identity remains a mystery for most of the play. The hermit is the focus of Hannah’s research at Sidley Park, as she sees him as a symbol of the Romantic era. Throughout the play, she attempts to understand his identity, and what he was doing out in the hermitage scribbling math and predicting the end of the world.
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The Sidley Park hermit Character Timeline in Arcadia

The timeline below shows where the character The Sidley Park hermit appears in Arcadia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...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 of the end of Romanticism. The hermit died... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah continues talking about the Sidley Park hermit, whom Thomas Love Peacock (a real 19th-century writer, though the hermit is Stoppard’s invention) described... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...Bernard, not dissuaded, reads Hannah a bit of 19th-century travel writing that mentions the Sidley hermit, who had a tortoise named Plautus. (We, though not Hannah, know that Septimus’s tortoise was... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Hannah reads Valentine a little from the new source about the hermit. The article, from 1832, describes the hermit as convincing himself with math that the world... (full context)
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah notes that Septimus Hodge and the hermit were born in the same year, 1787. She starts to believe that they may be... (full context)