Appreciate the Sound Effects of Stoppard’s Language in Arcadia by Analysing Three Choice Phrases

Topics: Effects unit, The Importance of Being Earnest, Audience Pages: 2 (411 words) Published: October 14, 2012

Tom Stoppard generates an aristocratic hauteur in the voice of Lady Croom, due to the indignation, imperiousness and intolerance of differing opinions of those around her. Her line ‘my hycacinth dell is become a haunt for hobgoblins’ can compared to the drippingly sarcastic famous words of Edith Evans in The Importance of Being Earnest, ‘A handbag?’. This allows us to imagine that when performed, Lady Croom has a similarly ‘sweeping’ and haughty manner to her voice which delivers the patterns of alliteration in the line perfectly. Her aspirates can be performed as plosives which make for a much more expressive deliverance of the line, as well as what we imagine being the steadily rising pitch in her voice. Undoubtedly this deliverance allows for a much more gripping effect on the audience.

Lady Croom can be a source of more language sound effects, more specifically so in the line ‘Pray, what is this rustic hovel that presumes to superpose itself on my gazebo?’. Here, we can presume that she uses rolled ‘r’s to deliver the line and to make it comically upper class, as expected from the Lady of the house in early 19th century. She uses a mixture of approximants alongside aspirates, which allow the line to remain strong and significant throughout as opposed to fading off towards the end. Her extensive use of vocabulary and mixture of aspirates, as in the phrase ‘rustic hovel’ allows her to fulfil her line to its dramatic potential, making it known that the garden is an indisputably important part of 1809 aristocracy.

‘I will put in a hermit, for what is a hermitage without a hermit?’ is a line delivered by Thomasina Coverly that uses consistent alliteration with aspirates, which we imagine could be delivered as plosives as to echo the speech techniques of her mother. The line is almost comically alliterative due to the ‘h’ being repeated three times,...
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