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This page is dedicated to Fermat's Last Theorem and its relation to Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. Topics of discussion include a brief biography of Pierre de Fermat, a description of the theorem, and information regarding the proof of the theorem. Also, be sure to check out the handy ADDITIONAL RESOURCES page for a few useful links to other sites of interest.


To start things off, here's an excerpt from Act One, scene one, page 6 of the play...

SEPTIMUS: In the margin of his copy of Arithmetica, Fermat wrote that he had discovered a wonderful proof of his theorem but, the margin being too narrow for his purpose, did not have room to write it down. The note was found after his death, and from that day to this--

THOMASINA: Oh! I see now! The answer is perfectly obvious.

SEPTIMUS: This time you may have overreached yourself.

(PAUSE)

SEPTIMUS: My lady, take Fermat into the music room. There will be an extra spoonful of jam if you find his proof.

THOMASINA: There is no proof, Septimus. The thing that is perfectly obvious is that the note in the margin was a joke to make you all mad.


 

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