Degree Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Advisor(s)

Carol Tufts

Committee Member(s)

Phyllis Gorfain
Matthew Wright

Keywords

Drama, Science, Frayn, Brecht, Model, Uncertainty, Galileo, Bohr, Heisenberg, Stage

Abstract

My Honors thesis, An Infinity of Questions, explores the performance of science on stage using two plays: The Life of Galileo, challenging the status quo, by Bertolt Brecht and Copenhagen, examining the origins of intention, by Michael Frayn. I focus on these two plays because not only because they impress me personally, but both spring from historical events and are thematically concerned with physics and the atomic bomb. They also make an interesting juxtaposition since Galileo has a decidedly political agenda, while Copenhagen is a philosophic inquiry. I argue that these dramas are exceptional science plays because of how they literally enact the ideas that they examine and bring science to life on stage by means of modeling ideas.

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