Of or pertaining to the body or it's appetites; animal; fleshy; sensual; given to sensual indulgence; lustful; human or worldly as opposed to spiritual

Flesh-Devouring; cruel; ravenous; bloody

Carnal knowledge, sexual intercourse; --used especially of an unlawful act on the part of the man

Em*brace", v. t. [Pref. em- (intens.) + brace, v. t.]

Intimate or close encircling with the arms; pressure to the bossom; clasp; hug

to cling to; to cherish; to love

To seize eagerly 

"Carnal Embrace is the practice of throwing one's arms around a side of beef."

-Septimus Hodge


We created this portion of Arcadia Web in order to better explain the interpersonal relations between the characters. In order for you, as the reader, to fully comprehend and appreciate this complicated work, we have provided you with facts and findings of love, lust, and forbidden embrace!

"We stood tranced in long embraces, Mixed with kisses." -Tennyson 

There were over 100,000 prostitutes in Paris by 1900

Philadelphia had about 1 prostitute for every 60 people

Monkeys, dolphins, and humans are the only animals who mate for pleasure

Since the beginning of time, humans have been convinced that there is a need for formal unions between two people in order to maintain a healthy relationship in society. As societies evolved, the marriage bond took on increased significance within each culture. With marriage came the idea of monogamy. However, human beings have been engaging in non-monogamous activities throughout history.

Extra-marital affairs: stigmas, causes, and statistics:

-Our historical concern about affairs is evident in the Ten Commandments.

-The fact that affairs are wrong, even considered to be a sin, has been ingrained into us through our social, cultural, and religious upbringings.

-Out of 1400 respondents that have completed a questionnaire, over 90% have reported that the affair is based on emotional needs and not sexual motivation.

How this relates to Arcadia:

Ezra Chater & Mrs. Chater: Married
Lady & Lord Croom: Married
Septimus & Mrs. Chater: Affair
Mrs. Chater & Lord Byron: Affair
Mrs. Chater & Brice: Married Later
Septimus &Thomasina: Dancing partners, thoughts of carnal embrace?
Septimus & Lady Croom: Affair
Lady Croom & Lord Byron: Affair
Lady Croom & The Count: Affair
Hannah & Bernard: Sexual tension
Hannah & Gus: Dancing Partners
Chloe & Bernard: Going Steady [ie. the gazebo incident, carnal embrace;)]
Hannah & Valentine: "Engaged"

Possible reasons include:

-Some people have even said that human beings simply can't maintain monogamous sexual relationships over long periods of time because it "isn't natural."

Possible results for the scandalous party include:


  • Septimus: Madam, I regret the gazebo, I sincerely regret the gazebo. [GUILT] But the chinese bridge, fantasy! [LUST, SEXUAL VARIETY]
  • Ezra Chater: Damn you Hodge, I will not listen to this! Will you fight or not? [JEALOUSY, REVENGE, PAIN, ANGER, FEELING USED, CONFUSION] 
  • Bernard: Darling.
  • Hannah: Don't call me darling. 
  • Bernard: (To Valentine) Your mother caught us in that cottage.
  • Chloe: She snooped! 
  • Bernard: I don't think so. She was rescuing a theodolite.
  • Chloe: I'll come with you, Bernard.
  • Bernard: No, you bloody won't.
  • Chloe: Don't you want me to?
  • Bernard: Of course not. What for? (To Valentine) I'm sorry.
  • Chloe: (In furious tears) What are you saying sorry to him for?
  • Bernard: Sorry to you too. Sorry one and all. Sorry, Hannah-sorry, Hermione-sorry, Byron-sorry, sorry, sorry, now can I go? (Chloe stands stiffly, tearfully.)
  • Chloe: Well..(Thomasina and Septimus dance.)
  • Hannah: What a bastard you are, Bernard..(Chloe rounds on her.)
  • Chloe: And you mind your own business! What do you know about anything?
  • Hannah: Nothing.
  • Chloe: (To Bernard) It was worth it, though, wasn't it? [REGRET]
  • Bernard: It was wonderful.[LUST, SEXUAL TENSION, JEALOUSY]. 
  • Thomasina: Septimus, shush! Now is our chance!
  • Septimus: For what, dear God?
  • Thomasina: Do not act the innocent! Tomorrow I will be seventeen! (She kissed Septimus full on the mouth.) There! [SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION].

  • Thoughts on sex in Arcadia:

    Tom Stoppard's tasteful use of sexual inuendo from the very first pages in the script, masterfully drew his twenty-first century audience into Arcadia. Written in the 1990's, the play shows Stoppard's restraint in that he was very tasteful about all mentions of sex. Whereas, most current drama/cinema is less subtle and prefers to hit you in the face with profanity and nudity.

    Because of Stoppard's mysterious style, he intrigued readers/viewers for the duration of the play. It is also interesting that instead of scenes that were literally portrayed, there was extensive dialogue mentioning the scandolous activities. In a decade where the smutty talk-show, "Jerry Springer" is highest rated show, we would expect to see the passionate scenes in Arcadia shown in such the same manner. However, Stoppard chose to let each individual visualise for themselves, thus creating a stronger link between the viewer and the play, and at the same time reaching a larger audience. By keeping Arcadia both witty and tasteful, neither the very young, nor the old, would be turned away.

    The relationship between Septimus and Thomasina is classic. The dramatic tale of the older/wiser man, trying to seduce/tame the young/innocent, and intriguing adolescent. For some reason, Stoppard was able to make a seemingly incestous relationship into a charming love story. As a viewer, you may not know why, but you are glad to see them dancing in the end.

    This page created by Kirby Petersen, Trina Olson, and Courtney Peterson.

    Return to Arcadia Home Page

    ARTFL Project: Webster Dictionary, 1913
    AffairLady 1998-Extramarital Affairs: What is the Allure?
    Stoppard, Tom. Arcadia, Samuel French